West Africa's regional bloc sent in negotiators at the weekend in a bid to reverse President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita's removal from power last week. But talks had focused on who would lead Mali and for how long, rather than the possibility of reinstating the president, diplomats said.
Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who led the team, said they requested and were granted access to Keita, who said he does not want to return to politics and wants a quick transition so the country can go back to civilian rule.
Talks were taking place with the threat of regional sanctions hanging over the junta, known as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People (CNSP).
The coup has raised the prospects of further political turmoil in Mali which, like other countries in the region, is facing an expanding threat from Islamist militants.
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