Mali has indefinitely suspended the issuance of visas to French nationals at its embassy in Paris.
In a statement, it said the move was reciprocal after it “learnt with surprise” that France had classified Mali to be in a “red zone” due to supposed “strong regional tensions”.
France earlier this week suspended the issuance of visas and closed the visa centre at its embassy in Mali’s capital, Bamako.
The regional tensions reportedly come from Niger where the military overthrew the democratically elected government of President Mohamed Bazoum about two weeks ago.
The junta-led Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea governments have declared their support for the Niger coup and warned against any military intervention there.
Relations between Mali and France have been strained since Malian troops seized power in 2020 and 2021 military coups.
Last year, France withdrew its forces after the military junta leaders brought in mercenaries from Russia’s Wagner group.