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France to start withdrawing troops from Mali in March

France to start withdrawing troops from Mali in March

France plans to start withdrawing its troops from Mali in March.

This was stated by the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. "We will continue to operate in that country’s north, where some terrorist havens still remain," Reuters quotes the Minister as saying.

The current strength of the French force in Mali is around 4000 people.

The anti-terrorist operation in the West African country began on January 11th.

The conflict in Mali erupted in spring 2012, when a military group staged an armed uprising in the capital, Bamako.

The Tuaregs and Islamist armed groups capitalized on the coup.

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EU to provide Mali with 300mln for restoring statehood

The European Union will provide financial assistance to Mali to a tune of 300 million euros for restoration of statehood.

This was stated by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, following the results of an international expert conference in Brussels on aid to Mali.

These funds should be transferred to Bamako by the end of the year.

The politician once again stressed that normalization of the situation in Mali is key to stability in the region.

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