Mali says no deal reached on election date with regional envoy

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BAMAKO, March 20 (Reuters) - Mali's transitional government on Sunday said it had not yet reached an agreement with West Africa's regional bloc on when to hold elections that would restore democracy after a military takeover.

The West African state was hit hard with sanctions in January after the military junta that first seized power in a 2020 coup proposed extending its rule until 2025. read more

The interim authorities held negotiations with an envoy from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Bamako on Friday and Saturday and proposed a shorter 24-month transition period, which was rejected, the government said in a statement.

"The government of Mali regrets the lack of compromise at this stage," it said, adding that it remained open to agreeing a solution.

There was no immediate comment from ECOWAS, whose leaders have said they will gradually ease the sanctions, which include border closures and restrictions on financial transactions, if an acceptable timetable for elections is proposed.

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Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo Additional reporting by Fadima Kontao Writing by Alessandra Prentice Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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