Germany approves troops deployment in Mali

2013-02-19 12:41:54 GMT2013-02-19 20:41:54(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BERLIN, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- The German government approved on Tuesday the deployment of up to 330 soldiers in Mali for an EU-led training mission and logistical support for France's mission in the West African country .

Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet met on Tuesday morning, approving two separate mandates including sending a maximum of 180 soldiers for the European Union Training Mission (EUTM) and sending up to 150 troops to strengthen logistical support for the French and African troops against Islamist rebels in Mali.

According to local media reports, the deployment would make Germany the second-biggest contributor to the EUTM mission behind France.

However, the government maintained Germany's position of not sending any combat troops to Mali.

The deployment plans now needs the approval of the German parliament, which will deliberate over the proposals before the end of the week.

France has been carrying out a military intervention within the mandate of a U.N. resolution since January in Mali to respond to the West African country's request for military assistance to counter its rebel groups' offensive.

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