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Global Conflicts/Terrorism

[Published: Tuesday October 30 2012]

Clinton presses Algeria on Mali intervention plan

Algiers, 30 Oct - (ANA) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday pressed Algeria to support an Africa-led military intervention in northern Mali, a senior U.S. official said. Clinton's one-day visit comes amid mounting international pressure on Algeria over the crisis in Mali, where a March military coup was followed by a revolt that has seen Tuareg rebels and Islamist militants, some linked to al Qaeda, seize control of the northern two-thirds of the country. The senior U.S. official said after the talks that Clinton argued strongly that counter-terror efforts in Mali could not wait for a political resolution to Mali's problems. Africa's biggest country, and a top oil and gas exporter, Algeria shares a 2,000-km (1,250-mile) border with Mali and sees itself as the major regional power, wary of any outside interference. It fears military action in Mali could push al Qaeda militants back into southern Algeria as well as triggering a refugee and political crisis, especially among displaced Malian Tuaregs heading north to join tribes in Algeria. Algeria repeatedly has advocated a diplomatic solution to the Mali crisis, and ruled out intervention itself. Although Algiers would not be able to veto an intervention operation by other countries, it would be diplomatically risky for African states backed by Western powers to intervene in Mali without its consent, especially as the conflict could drag on for many months. (ANA)
FA/ANA/30 October 2012------------


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