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Germany to send two transport planes to Mali


16:06, January 17, 2013

BERLIN, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere announced on Wednesday that Germany would send two transport planes to Mali, as a support to the military action of troops from Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) member states.

The minister said in Berlin that Germany would provide logistical support to troops of ECOWAS member states. The two Transall transport planes would be used to send troops to Mali Capital Bamako.

Over 3,000 soldiers from ECOWAS countries began to arrive in Mali on Wednesday to help the Western African country in its battle against Islamist rebels.

Germany's support action would begin immediately "after clarification of some technical issues," said De Maiziere at a press conference, adding that mandate of German Bundestag, lower house of parliament, was not necessary for now.

"If the situation changes, then we will not only consult without delay, but also seek a mandate if necessary," the minister said, citing join a training mission of the European Union as an example.

"We believe that we are making an appropriate, comparable, meaningful and also a new contribution in the face of this conflict," he said.

At the same press conference, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle announced that German government would also provide additional 1 million euros (1.3 million U.S. dollars) in humanitarian aid to Mali.

The funds will be made available to German aid organization Welthungerhilfe to purchase blankets, cooking equipment and hygiene kits for refugees from the north of the country.

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