By EDITH M. LEDERER
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Mali’s Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop has defended the military government’s cooperation with Russia. He also rejected on Friday three options proposed by the U.N. chief to reconfigure the U.N. peacekeeping force in the west African country where Al-Qaida and Islamic State extremist groups are driving insecurity. Diop told the U.N. Security Council that security is the country’s top priority and Mali will not continue to justify its partnership with Russia, which is providing training and equipment to the military. He did not mention Russia’s Wagner Group, the private military contractor with ties to the Kremlin — but Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ internal review of the U.N. force did.