Mali: UAE giving material, financial aid, Hollande says

We will send more troops, French pres says from Abu Dhabi base

15 January, 17:20

(ANSAmed) - PARIS, JANUARY 15 - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) are fully behind the French military intervention in Mali, President Francois Hollande said Tuesday in a speech at a French military base in Abu Dhabi, which he is visiting along with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

The UAE have pledged ''their full support, including humanitarian, material and financial aid,'' Hollande said in the speech broadcast on French TV. The cooperation might include ''possible military aid, to be discussed at a later date,'' Hollande added.

''Last night's raids have reached their target,'' Hollande said, adding that ''we will be adding more troops'' to the 750 French soldiers currently in Mali. That number is expected to reach 2,500, French defense officials said. France is ''pretty confident'' other Gulf countries will support its intervention with materials and financing, the minister said, adding that French military presence in Mali will not spark more al-Qaeda recruitment in the region. ''It's the opposite,'' Fabius said. ''We, not just the French but all nations, must combat terrorism.'' The UN, the African Union, and the EU are setting up a donors' conference for Mali to be held in Addis Abeba, in Ethiopia, at the end of the month, Fabius said.(ANSAmed).