Italy expresses support for French Mali offensive
Italy has expressed its strong support for France's military intervention in Mali to prevent the west African nation from becoming a terrorist base, the Italian foreign ministry told AFP on Tuesday.
Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi told his French counterpart Laurent Fabius that Italy supports the operation during a telephone conversation on Monday, and the pair agreed on shared aims including opposition to terrorist movements.
Italy had been told in advance about the operation in the west African nation launched last week, according to Italian media.
France launched its military offensive in Mali on Friday as the Islamists who have occupied the north of the country since April began advancing towards the capital Bamako.
The control by Al-Qaeda linked armed Islamists of vast swathes of Mali's northern desert had sparked fear in the international community that the zone could become a new breeding ground for terrorists and pose a larger threat.
© 2013 AFP