Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Operation in Mali: Moscow confirms having received proposals to participate

Russia has actually received proposals, including from the European Union, concerning participation inthe operation in Mali , confirmed to reporters Thursday a source in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"There was, in fact, different proposals, including from the EU. To solve the problem, we provide assistance on a bilateral basis, including the Malian authorities," said the diplomat, commenting on some publications as which Moscow refused to participate in the operation in Mali, lack of appropriate agreement.

Adding that Russia believed it was important to focus instead on the political settlement of the situation in Mali.

"We want the international community cares, emphasizing especially the politics," he said.
According to the diplomat, Moscow hopes that the French military presence in Mali is limited.

"We believe that the European-Russian cooperation on peacekeeping should be on an equal footing. We proposed to sign a framework document. The EU does not always listen to our arguments, which not prevent us from cooperating where circumstances dictate (...), particularly in the fight against piracy, "he said. 

The situation in Mali has deteriorated significantly following the attacks by Islamists against the government troops in central Mali. January 10, 2013, a French contingent arrived in Bamako Mali to support the army in its fight against the Islamists. Since then, the French forces in Mali brought to more than 4,000 people. The operation called Serval also meets the military member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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