EU ministers to meet on Mali crisis: France

14th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

EU foreign ministers will meet this week to discuss the Mali crisis and the bloc's plans to train Malian troops battling Islamist rebels, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday.

"A special meeting of the foreign ministers of the European Union will be held this week on Mali," he said, adding it would be held in two to three days.

EU leaders in December approved a plan to send some 250 military trainers for the Malian army, backed by a protection force and other personnel, bringing the total of EU soldiers to be sent to the West African nation to 400 to 500.

The EU's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, last week called for preparations for the training mission to be speeded up, and a diplomatic source told AFP that Brussels hoped to have it in place "early February".

© 2013 AFP

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