The Netherlands backs the French intervention in Mali, saying it is necessary to halt the increase in Islam-based terrorism in the African country.
Foreign minister Frans Timmermans has telephoned the French government to pass on this support. ‘France’s action is urgently needed to stop the fast rise in Islamic terrorism in Mali,’ the foreign ministry said in a statement. ‘Mali’s own army was not in a position to do this.’
France has been in action in Mali at the request of the government there since Friday and has called a meeting of the UN Security Council on Mali for Monday.
Timmermans said the Netherlands has build up considerable expertise on Mali through development projects and that aid minister Lilian Ploumen is prepared to look into how the Netherlands can help to ensure a durable peace in the region.
A Dutchman was one of a group of three tourists kidnapped by militants in Mali in December 2011. He is still missing.