BAMAKO, March 9 (Xinhua) -- The French Defense Minister Jean- Yves Le Drian, who is on a visit to Mali, said on Friday that it was important for Mali to reconstruct its army.
"The main question is first to reconstruct the Malian army, from the mode of recruitment as well as to the qualifications of officers," Le Drian said when he addressed the media in Bamako.
"The European mission will help in the reconstitution process. The Malian army should become robust, democratic and it should be able to submit to the civilian authorities that will be formed after the presidential elections in the month of July," he added.
At the same time, Le Drian said that he was "happy" with the "firm determination" of President Dioncounda Traore to organize the elections in July.
Besides Traore, Le Drian also met with Mali's Chief of General Staff Ibrahima Dahirou Dembele, the Defense Minister Yamoussa Camara and Prime Minister Dinago Cissoko.