The Tuareg rebel group occupying a part of northern Mali says it is ready to accept a proposed agreement with the government, a positive sign that could remove the main obstacle to the planned presidential election this summer.

Moussa Ag Attaher, a spokesman for the National Movement for the Liberation of the Azawad, or NMLA, said Wednesday in Burkina Faso where the negotiations are being held, that his group was ready to validate the agreement "in the interest of peace."

Mali's representative flew back to Mali to consult with his government. It was not clear whether Mali would accept the proposal. Among the sticking points is whether the NMLA will allow the Malian military to return to Kidal, the provincial capital which they control, ahead of the July 28 election.