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France calls for int'l support in Mali operation


16:18, January 15, 2013

PARIS, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Monday called for international support in its operation to help Mali quash Islamist rebels.

"The international mobilization is essential as France did not intend to remain alone alongside Bamako authorities," Fabius told reporters, reiterating that Paris' objective was to pave the way for a "faster deployment of Misma (International Support Mission in Mali)."

The French top diplomat announced a special meeting of EU foreign ministers scheduled this week in Brussels to discuss "the participation that our European partners can bring to the deployment of this mission."

As French forces carried out air strikes for the fourth consecutive day, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday said the situation in Mali is "evolving favorably."

According to the defense minister, 2,500 French soldiers will be deployed in Mali to help African troops in their fight against terrorist groups that controlled the country's northern region.

French President Francois Hollande announced last Friday a sudden military intervention within U.N. resolution in the West African country to respond to Mali's request for military assistance to counter rebel groups' offensive.

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