BAMAKO Mali's minister for the diaspora and migration said on Friday it would be absurd for the government to try to negotiate with jihadists claiming responsibility for attacks on Malian and foreign forces.
Abdramane Sylla, who fills in for Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop when he is away, was addressing reporters in the capital Bamako alongside France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel.
A peace conference in Mali last Sunday concluded with calls to start talks with the leaders of two violent Islamist groups.
"At the moment the Malian people decide to make peace, someone continues to claim attacks," Sylla said. "I think it's absurd to negotiate with these terrorists, especially when they've just...declared war on 11 countries".
(Reporting by John Irish; Additional reporting by Adama Diarra in Bamako; Writing by Tim Cocks)