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Mali conference shows terror losing, EU says

May 16, 2013 at 12:12 PM

BRUSSELS, May 16 (UPI) -- Threats against national security in Mali from foreign rebel and al-Qaida groups are moot in light of international support, an EU leader said.

The European and French governments were co-hosts for a donors' conference this week for Mali. Mali is struggling to restore national security and ensure territorial integrity. The government called in French military support in January after al-Qaida and rebel groups seized territory in a 2012 coup.

President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz said the estimated $4 billion in international donor pledges secured during the conference sends a strong message of support for Mali's success.

"It is also a message to all those armed groups which act against the unity of the Malian people spreading a message of hatred, intolerance and sectarianism: their threat against the security and prosperous future of Mali and of the Sahel will fail," he said in a statement.

Malian President Dioncounda Traore told the conference the interim government was committed to national elections in July. He said neither he nor members of his administration would seek the presidency.

European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva said broad-based reconciliation was essential for Mali's long-term recovery efforts.

"We can't expect reconciliation to happen overnight, but it is crucial if we are to see lasting returns, and sustainable development," she said in a statement.

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