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Defence Minister visits German troops in Mali

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Defence Minister visits German troops in Mali
Photo: DPA
11:18 CET+01:00
German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere is due in Mali on Monday where he is to meet German soldiers deployed to support French and African troops fighting Islamist rebels.

After first visiting German forces stationed in neighbouring Senegal where the minister arrived late Sunday, De Maiziere was headed to the Malian capital Bamako, his ministry confirmed.

He told journalists in Senegal, where Germany provides logistical and plane refuelling support to French forces, that it was "in Europe's interest that terrorism doesn't spread in Mali."

Germany has approved the deployment of up to 330 soldiers to Mali to participate in an EU-led training mission and give logistical support to French troops.

Up to 180 German soldiers have been earmarked for the European Union Training Mission - 100 of them to provide logistical and administrative support in areas such as water and energy supplies.

Additionally 150 German soldiers are to provide logistical backup to the French deployment in Mali via help with transport and the refuelling of planes.

No German combat troops are planned.

AFP/jlb

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