France gets EU backing on Mali, offers of military aid

17th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

France won support from European Union nations Thursday for its military campaign in Mali and offers of military aid, possibly including troops, at emergency talks on the crisis.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said after the talks that "all the countries expressed their solidarity with Mali and support for France's action".

Many planned to offer logistical or material support to back efforts by France and African troops to rout Islamist guerrillas, he said.

Some of France's partners were mulling "an offer of troops" though "we won't force anyone," he added.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said at a separate press conference that "many countries said they were willing to support France in any way and they did not rule out sending troops."

"We were united in welcoming the quick response of France" last week in stopping a march on the Malian capital, Bamako, by Islamist guerrillas, Ashton said.


© 2013 AFP

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