Ban Ki-moon thanks the Netherlands for contribution in Mali

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked the Netherlands on Tuesday for its contribution to the UN operation in Mali. He was speaking to foreign minister Frans Timmermans in the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

The Secretary-General hopes that other countries will follow the Netherlands’ example by making military personnel available. The Netherlands is providing some 380 people, primarily to gather and analyse information. The aim of the UN mission (MINUSMA) is to promote security and stability in Mali.

Mr Timmermans expressed his appreciation for the UN operation in Mali. The Netherlands intends to expand its contribution to MINUSMA as soon as possible. ‘We are working together closely to make the mission a success,’ said the foreign minister.

Mr Ban and Mr Timmermans also discussed the situation in Ukraine and the Central African Republic. The Secretary-General noted that he had called on President Putin to enter into direct talks with Ukraine and not to escalate the situation any further. Mr Timmermans stressed that Ukraine should be offered a future in which it had good ties with both Russia and Europe.