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Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:06 PM

U.S. Studying Legal Basis For Assisting France In Mali: Panetta [View all]

Source: Reuters

ROME | Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:46pm EST
(Reuters) - The United States takes the French fight with al Qaeda-affiliated militants in Mali "very seriously" but must evaluate French military needs and the legal basis for U.S. action before providing aid, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday.

Panetta, speaking to reporters in Rome, said the United States already was providing information to Paris to help French forces in their effort to disrupt the advance of Islamist groups in Mali until the ECOWAS grouping of African nations can put troops on the ground.

"The administration takes this very seriously and they have indeed been reviewing areas where assistance can be provided," said Panetta, who is on a week-long trip to Europe that will likely be his last as defense secretary. "I'm confident that we're going to be able to provide that assistance."

Asked why a decision on the issue was taking so long, Panetta said the U.S. administration wanted to make sure of the kind of assistance Paris needed and "that we have the proper legal authorities to be able to provide that."

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/16/us-mali-rebels-pentagon-idUSBRE90F1IK20130116

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Reply U.S. Studying Legal Basis For Assisting France In Mali: Panetta [View all]
Purveyor Jan 2013 OP
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