Mali’s President Dioncounda Traore confirmed on Tuesday that the Mauritanian government has agreed to send troops to the northern regions of Mali, in a bid to help rid the country of Islamist militants.
Speaking at a press conference, President Traore said that Mauritanian leaders are hoping that the move will tackle terrorism, currently plaguing both nations.
The news comes after French troops entered Mali more than a month ago to drive out Islamist rebels who had taken over the northern dessert regions, amid fears they would soon advance on the country’s capital, Bamako. The French government has repeatedly asserted the success of the campaign, saying northern Mali would soon return to the control of President Traore and his regime.
In return, President Traore has praised the French-African military, which has also included 2,000 troops from neighbouring Chad, saying it has “saved” Mali from “terrorist gangs”.
Meanwhile, in a joint statement issued by the Malian president and Mauritania’s leader Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, the two heads of state praised a recent decision by the UN General Assembly to provide Palestine with observer membership, saying it was a step closer to the state being officially recognised and will go a long way in helping the Palestinian people.
The two presidents also expressed their frustration at the escalating Syrian conflict, insisting that a draft political solution to end the violence needs to be implemented “as soon as possible.”