NATO Member Norway Mulls Sending Troops to Mali
Norway, which is still missing five citizens after a hostage siege in Algeria, is considering joining a European Union mission to Mali to help train soldiers backing French troops who are fighting Islamist militants.
Norway, which isn’t a member of the EU, has received an informal request from neighboring Sweden to contribute army officers and instructors,
Elisabeth Kjaer, a Defense Ministry spokeswoman, said by phone today. While the government has yet to respond, Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide and Defense Minister Anne-Grete Stroem-Erichsen are open to offering army support, she said, confirming comments in local newspaper Aftenposten.
“It’s about stabilizing a region,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Kjetil Elsebutangen said in a phone interview from Oslo. “Military contributions are one element, but far from the only one. The efforts to create stable states, support of the rule of law, building institutions, are also an important contribution.”
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