As Islamist extremists tighten their grip on northern Mali, the EU says it is ready to back the deployment of an African stabilisation force.
Concerned by the situation in the divided nation, the bloc’s foreign ministers said they would support such a mission under a UN mandate.
Backing from Brussels comes after the US urged Mali’s authorities to accept offers of African military intervention. However, the UN Security Council has yet to give its endorsement.
Mali imploded after a coup in March.
Sidelining separatist Tuarag rebels, local and foreign Islamists now control northern regions where they have imposed strict Islamic law.