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Minister: more diplomacy to solve Mali conflict

Published: 12 Jan 2013 10:54 GMT+01:00

"There will not be a military solution alone to the Mali problem. Therefore political efforts must also be intensified," Guido Westerwelle said in a statement. "The discussions under African mediation must be urgently continued."

With foreign backing, Malian government forces went on the counter-attack on Friday against Islamists who control the west African country's desert north and have sparked international alarm with a push south towards the capital, Bamako.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton Friday urged an "enhanced and accelerated" international response to the situation in Mali.

She also said the EU would "accelerate preparations for the deployment of a military mission to Mali to provide training and advice to the Malian forces."

EU leaders late last year approved a training mission to Mali of 400 to 500 officers to bolster the country's army.

A German defence ministry spokesman said on Friday that Berlin believed the conditions for German participation in helping train Malian troops had not yet been met. And the ministry denied media reports that German troops were present in Mali.

The crisis is expected to top the agenda in talks next Wednesday between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, who is the current head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

AFP/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:40 January 12, 2013 by Englishted
This man is foreign minister of cloud cuckoo land .

At least him and his party will be gone in the next election.
14:24 January 12, 2013 by raandy
"There will not be a military solution alone to the Mali problem"

It is the only solution, what will dialogue solve with these Islamic insurgents?
01:25 January 13, 2013 by The-ex-pat
Diplomacy and Islamic insurgents, the guy is an idiot, end of!
19:14 January 13, 2013 by realist1961
Well Guido, when you hug a terrorist, make sure you don't set off their explosive vest.
22:28 January 13, 2013 by truth is treason
The Americans left last March, when the Military took over the Mali Government and will not come back until elections take place. France now will invoke a NATO rule that we need to help them. The US State Department site on Mali shows: As a result of the March 2012 military seizure of power, the United States terminated all assistance to the Government of Mali and suspended all assistance to Mali with the exception of humanitarian assistance, food security, health, and elections support, which are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. The ability of the United States to resume full assistance to Mali will depend on the restoration of a democratically elected government.

So America left this mess.
11:48 January 15, 2013 by mitanni
"So America left this mess."

I don't see why this is America's problem. Mali was a French colony and has been a mess ever since. The fact that the US couldn't transform it into a paradise doesn't mean that the US is in any way responsible for it.
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