The Prime Minister spoke to President Hollande this evening to discuss the deteriorating situation in Mali and how the UK can support French military assistance provided to the Malian Government to contain rebel and extremist groups in the north of the country. The Prime Minister has agreed that the UK will provide logistical military assistance to help transport foreign troops and equipment quickly to Mali. We will not be deploying any British personnel in a combat role. They also agreed that the peacekeeping mission from West African countries needs to be strongly supported by countries in the region and deployed as quickly as possible.
Both leaders agreed that the situation in Mali poses a real threat to international security given terrorist activity there. They discussed the need to work with the Malian Government, regional neighbours and international partners to prevent a new terrorist haven developing on Europe’s doorstep and to reinvigorate the UN led political process once the rebel advance has been halted. The National Security Council, which was already due to meet on Tuesday, will now consider the situation in Mali and discuss what needs to be done to secure a lasting political settlement in Mali.
The Prime Minister also expressed his condolences for the recent loss of French lives in Mali and Somalia.