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UNITED NATIONS (AP) Mali's new president has announced that his country will hold two rounds of legislative elections before the end of the year.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita told the U.N. General Assembly on Friday that the first round of elections will be Nov. 24 and the second round will be Dec. 15.

Keita took office in early September, about nine months after radical jihadists were largely ousted from power in the northern part of the country.

He used his speech to the world body to thank France and the international community for their help in restoring peace.

Keita says, "Mali is coming back" and says his government will work to accelerate the freedom of foreign hostages still being held by jihadist groups.

He called the groups a continuing threat to the region.