Mali sees durable support

May 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM

BRUSSELS, May 15 (UPI) -- It's apparent that international support for Malian reconstruction will extend beyond this week's donors' conference, President Dioncounda Traore said.

The European Commission and French government co-host a donors' conference to generate support for the reconstruction of Mali.

Foreign and al-Qaida fighters claimed authority over northern Mali following a coup in 2012. The central government in January called for military support from former colonial power France to help retake northern territory.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso offered more than $670 million over two years to help Mali rebuild.

Traore said the initial pledges of support were indicative of the international backing for his country.

"Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, in a week or in a month, it is clear that the international community, the European Union, will inject a lot more than that," he was quoted by news agency France 24 as saying.

Barroso said the money would help build a "stable, democratic and prosperous" Mali.

Traore is to address the European Parliament Thursday. He announced this week that presidential elections were set for July 28, though neither he nor any other member of the transitional government would compete.

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