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AFISMA / MICEMA / Serval

Mali: MEPs urge member states to go in alongside France

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It is “astonishing” that EU member states were surprised by the terrorist groups’ offensive in Mali. Tthe EU should have been better prepared for an escalation of the conflict, and member states should show more solidarity by supporting French operations on the ground, said Security and Defense Subcommittee MEPs in debates with French and European civil and military officials on Wednesday and Thursday.

Despite warnings and threats clearly identified, notably in the EU’s 2011 strategy for the Sahara, “we are surprised that the EU could be surprised by the Islamists’ offensive” in northern Mali, said Subcommittee chair Arnaud Danjean (EPP, FR), echoed by many MEPs.

They underlined that the EU mission to train the Malian army, formally confirmed by the January 22 extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council, had long been planned. The rebel offensive only accelerated the process.

Solidarity among member states means more than transport planes

Whilst welcoming France’s intervention…

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