In August, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian visited Mali as part of an African tour which also included a visit to Tanzania. A few days later, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani asserted that turning to Africa is among Iran’s top foreign policy priorities. He added that “the government is paying special attention to expanding ties with African states, which have developed positively in previous months.”
Mali is one such country. Having conducted two coups in two years, the military-led government is in the process of realigning itself in the international arena. This gives Iran the opportunity to expand its footprint and influence in both the country and the wider Sahel region. But Tehran is not alone in seeing new opportunities for relations with Bamako. Other powers, including regional competitor Turkey, see similar openings in Mali.
Prospects of Iran-Mali cooperation
Iran’s foreign minister led a high-profile political and economic delegation to the Malian capital Bamako, which included private sector representatives. Amir-Abdollahian also met his Malian counterpart Abdoulaye Diop to discuss shared interests. The two states agreed to...
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