Malian president in France to seek political and financial support for peace process

Malian president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is seeking political and financial support for the country's peace process during a two-day state visit to France.

Keita arrived at the Elysee palace Wednesday to meet with French President Francois Hollande.

On Thursday an international conference for the economic recovery and development of the country is to be held at the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

France is expected to announce it will release 300 million euros ($340 million) in loans and grants for Mali by 2017.

Paris launched a military operation in Mali in 2013 to expel Islamic extremists that had captured the country's northern half.

About 1.000 French troops remain in the country as attacks continue in the north and are moving further south.