Foreign relations of Mali

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Politics and government of

Following independence in 1960, Mali initially followed a socialist path and was aligned ideologically with the communist bloc. But Mali’s foreign policy orientation became increasingly pragmatic and pro-Western over time. Since the institution of a democratic form of government in 2002, Mali’s relations with the West in general and the United States in particular have improved significantly. U.S.-Malian relations are described by the U.S. Department of State as “excellent and expanding,” especially given Mali’s recent record of democratic stability in the volatile area of West Africa and its avowed support of the war on terrorism. Mali is reported to be one of the largest recipients of U.S. aid in Africa.[1]

Mali is active in regional organizations such as the African Union. Working to control and resolve regional conflicts, such as in Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, is one of Mali’s major foreign policy goals. Mali feels threatened by the potential for the spillover of conflicts in neighboring states, and relations with those neighbors are often uneasy. General insecurity along borders in the north, including cross-border banditry and terrorism, remain troubling issues in regional relations.[1]

Mali is a member of the United Nations (and many of its specialized agencies), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and the International Criminal Court (ICC). It also belongs to the Organization of African Unity (OAU); Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC); Non-Aligned Movement (NAM); an associate member of the European Community (EC); and African Development Bank (ADB).

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