Top Mali mediator to meet Islamists, Tuareg rebels

Chief regional mediator Blaise Compaore will meet Mali's Ansar Dine Islamists and Tuareg rebels together for the first time on Friday, in a bid to negotiate an end to the crisis in northern Mali.

Burkina Faso "President Compaore will receive at 11 am (1100 GMT) tomorrow Ansar Dine and MNLA together," his office said. The three-way talks mark progress in negotiations for a political solution to the crisis, as plans to send an international military force to wrest control of northern Mali from Islamists gathered pace.