Mali PM meets president after medical retreat

FILE PHOTO: Mali's Prime Minister Choguel Maiga attends a meeting with the United Nations Security Council delegation in visit in Bamako

BAMAKO (Reuters) -Mali's transitional Prime Minister Choguel Maiga met interim President Assimi Goita on Friday after more than three months of forced medical leave, the presidency said.

Maiga was ordered by his doctor to rest in August after months of intense exertion.

Paris-based Jeune Afrique magazine reported at the time that Maiga had suffered a stroke, citing sources close to him. But an adviser to Maiga, reached by Reuters, denied this.

Maiga had been one of the government's most outspoken voices in repeated public rows with West African neighbours and international allies who criticised its military cooperation with Russian mercenaries and repeated election delays.

He was temporarily replaced by Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, government spokesman and minister of territorial administration.

"After a medical retreat of several months... Colonel Assimi Goita, head of state, received Dr Choguel Kokala Maiga... this Friday," the presidency said on Twitter.

The tweet was accompanied by photos of Maiga, dressed in a traditional robe, smiling and chatting to Goita.

"I have come to salute and thank [Goita], to tell him that I am well and that I can resume work. In a few days he will grant me the authorisation," Maiga told reporters after the meeting.

Mali is governed by a military junta that came to power in an August 2020 coup and has promised to organise elections in 2024.

(Reporting by Tiemoko Diallo; Writing by Sofia Christensen; Editing by Hereward Holland and Toby Chopra)