Netherlands supports French action in Mali

The Netherlands supports France’s military action in Mali. Foreign minister Frans Timmermans communicated this message in a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.

‘France’s intervention is essential if the rapid advance of Islamic terrorists in Mali is to be stopped. The Malian army was unable to do this alone,’ Mr Timmermans said.

The Malian government has urged France to assist in the fight against the advancing rebels; the UN Security Council had previously issued a mandate authorising the provision of support to Mali. This means that France’s intervention is taking place within the bounds of international law.

Mr Timmermans said that the Netherlands had built up a great deal of experience with development cooperation in Mali, and that Lilianne Ploumen, the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, is prepared to look at how Dutch efforts can be intensified and be used to help bring about lasting peace.

On the Netherlands’ behalf, Mr Timmermans also expressed his condolences on the death of Lieutenant Damien Boiteux.

Mr Fabius expressed his thanks for the Netherlands’ support. He wants to meet with EU foreign ministers soon to discuss the situation in Mali.