The United States welcomes the return of interim President Dioncounda Traore to Bamako. His return represents an important step in moving Mali back onto a path leading to the restoration of a freely elected democratic government.
We support the efforts of interim President Traore, interim Prime Minister Diarra, political parties and civil society to engage in an inclusive and broad-based political dialogue that will contribute to the early restoration of a popularly elected government and that is focused on creating a stable and prosperous future for the country. We encourage all of the parties to draw on the Malian tradition of consensus, tolerance, and good will to form an effective unity government by July 31, 2012, that can guide the country towards elections as soon as possible, but no later than April 2013, as called for by the Economic Community of West African States.
We reiterate the call of the international community for the dissolution of the military-led National Committee for the Restoration of Democracy (CNRDRE) and call on its members to refrain from any interference in political matters and in the work of the transitional authorities. We repeat the call on armed groups in northern Mali to renounce any connection with terrorist groups and enter into legitimate political negotiations on the basis of Mali’s territorial integrity.