Mali's interim prime minister Cheick Modibo Diarra on Tuesday presented a roadmap for rescuing his country from a post-coup crisis to the region's lead mediator.
His meeting with Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore comes a day after Diarra promised in a national address to form a unity government to steer the country back to stability after the March coup, as demanded by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Diarra said that during their two-hour meeting, he and Compaore discussed the roadmap, which lays out a one-year plan for a return to constitutional rule, and the formation of a unity government to oversee the transition.
Diarra also said ECOWAS military experts were in the process of carrying out an "audit" of the foundering Malian army to determine its needs.
ECOWAS wants to send a 3,000-strong military force to Mali, but is waiting for United Nations approval and a formal request from Bamako.
The west African regional organisation has given Mali's embattled interim authorities until July 31 to form a unity government or face suspension from the 15-nation group.
A more inclusive government is expected to come up with a framework to win back the vast desert north of Mali, which was taken over by hardline Islamists and rebel groups after the coup.
The aim is to unite the disparate political forces in Mali to take back control of the north and halt attacks in Bamako against public figures and journalists.
The attacks have been carried out by armed men believed to be close to the former military junta, which has handed over power but remains influential.
Source: AFP Global Edition