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EU debate over French support in Mali heats up

EU debate over French support in Mali heats up
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Military support comes in many different forms. And as France continues it’s intervention in Mali, the wider EU debate over just what kind of assistance to give to the French rages on.

Didier Reynders, Belgium’s Foreign Minister reiterated his country’s desire to back the operation.

“We want to work together behind France but also in the international operation that should take over, and I hope it does so quickly.”

Whilst Germany has confirmed logistical and medical support, Denmark will send another Hercules to add to the British air support.

And Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief echoed those comments of EU solidarity.

“We need to accelerate our course of action. We want to deploy that mission as quickly as possible and certainly quicker than planned. Those circumstances have changed.”

But some quarters are scathing of what they see as a political reluctance to show some real commitment to the conflict from EU member states.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Co-chair of the European Free Alliance criticised the German decision to offer only medical support.

“Madam Ashton, you said ‘We, we are concerned.’ Everyone says ‘We’ but there are only French soldiers over there. The French were told ‘We’ll give you nurses, now go and get killed in Mali.’”

France is intending to increase its 800 troops to 2,500. But will there be any boots on the ground from other EU countries?