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Mali: Statement on PM call with President Hollande

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Statement following a telephone call between the Prime Minister and President Hollande on Saturday evening.

A Downing Street spokesperson said:

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.

Earlier on Saturday 12 January, Prime Minister David Cameron had said:

I am deeply concerned about the recent rebel advances in Mali, which extend the reach of terrorist groups and threaten the stability of the country and the wider region. I welcome the military assistance France has provided to the Malian Government, at their request, to halt this advance.

These developments show the need to make urgent progress in implementing UN Security Council resolutions on Mali, and ensure that military intervention is reinforced by an inclusive political process leading to elections and a return to full civilian rule.

I would also like to send personal condolences to the families of the French hostage killed in Somalia, and those of the two soldiers either killed or missing in the rescue attempt. Last night’s tragic events underline how essential it is that we work together to combat terrorism in Africa.

Source: Number10 website