Malis interim president and prime minister have resigned two days after they were arrested by the military, an aide to the vice president said.
Soldiers, led by interim Vice President Assimi Goita, arrested President Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane and took them to a military base on Monday after a cabinet reshuffle in which two officers lost their posts.
The militarys actions have jeopardised Malis return to democracy following a coup last August and drawn condemnation from international powers.
The president and his prime minister have resigned. Negotiations are ongoing for their liberation and the formation of a new government, Baba Cisse, an aide to Goita, said on Wednesday in comments sent to the Reuters news agency by the military.
A member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which is visiting the country in an attempt to resolve the standoff, confirmed the presidents resignation to the AFP news agency, requesting anonymity.
During a meeting with Goita late on Tuesday, the ECOWAS delegation, led by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, raised the possibility of sanctions against the officers responsible for the takeover, said a military official who was present.
The United Nations Security Council was set to hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday at the request of former colonial power France and others.
On Monday, the UN, African Union, ECOWAS, European Union and the United States issued a rare joint statement, attacking the detention and demanding the release of Ndaw and Ouane.
Malis neighbours and international powers fear the political crisis could further destabilise a country that armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) have used as a launchpad for attacks across the region.
On Tuesday, Goita, who led the coup in August against President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, said the president and the prime minister had violated the transitional charter by failing to consult him about the new cabinet.
Goita promised that elections planned for next year at the end of the transitional period would go ahead.
He also accused the government of mishandling the situation in Mali, including a strike last week by the main union. The union said on Tuesday it would suspend the strike in light of the political crisis.

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