EU rules out military combat mission to Mali

January 14, 2013 14:26

BRUSSELS - The European Union has no plans to give any combat role to its upcoming military training mission in Mali, an EU foreign policy spokesman said on Monday, following France's intervention in the sub-Saharan state against al-Qaida-linked Islamists last week.

The European Union plans to speed up preparations to send military trainers for the Malian army. This mission is now expected to start in late February or early March.

But the format of the mission will not be changed for now, spokesman Michael Mann told a daily briefing. When asked whether he could rule out a combat mission by the European Union, he said: "Yes, I can."

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