EU ministers to discuss Mali intervention
By Brooks Tigner
The European Union (EU) will convene a special meeting of foreign ministers this week, possibly on 17 January, to "take stock of possible EU actions in support of Mali", Catherine Ashton, the EU's high representative for foreign and security policy said on 14 January.
Topping the agenda is how to contain the country's instability and to support French forces, which are helping Mali's weak government beat back rebel and extremists groups operating from the nation's northern region. The EU may strengthen its planned military training mission in Mali as a result, according to diplomatic sources.
Options may include increasing the size and accelerating the deployment of EU training mission for Mali, which is still in its planning stages. The mission will train and advise the Malian military and provide financial and logistical assistance for the deployment of an African-led International Support Mission to Mali.
The EU mission originally aimed to send around 300 European military trainers to the country, but the strength of attacks by Mali's rebel and extremist forces could change that. "There is now talk of sending 500 trainers there," one European diplomat told IHS Jane's on 15 January.193 of 551 words
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