Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, elected in August, was sworn in to office Wednesday. He defeated challenger and former Finance Minister Soumaila Cisse in a presidential contest that took two rounds to settle.
Algerian Foreign Ministry spokesman Amar Belani said Wednesday the government extended a message of congratulations to the new Malian president.
"Algeria reaffirms its deep commitment for a fraternal and strong relationship with Mali, in line with the long-standing ties between the two peoples," he told the official Algeria Press Service.
Mali is struggling to ensure national unity following a 2012 coup. The interim government called for military support from former colonial power France to help fight al-Qaida and nomadic fighters who took control in northern Mali after the coup.
The BBC reported last week Algerian militant leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar announced his al-Qaida-linked group merged with its Malian counterparts to form a new terrorist movement, al-Murabitoun.
Belmokhtar was the ringleader of a January attack on a natural gas facility near In Amenas, Algeria, in which more than 800 people were taken hostage. At least 39 hostages and 29 militants were killed when Algerian special forces raided the site in attempt to free hostages.
Belmokhtar said the merger was in response to the French intervention in Mali.
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