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Mali conference declared a success

May 21, 2013 at 12:04 PM

BRUSSELS, May 21 (UPI) -- Last week's donor conference for Malian reconstruction exceeded expectations set by leading delegates, Malian and European leaders said Tuesday.

President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz said donors last week managed to raise at least $4 billion in assistance to ensure Mali has the support to move past the fallout from last year's coup.

The Malian government in January called for military support from former colonial power France to fight foreign and al-Qaida fighters who seized territory following the 2012 coup.

Malian Foreign Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly said Malian stability meant stability for members of the Economic Community of West African States and for the entire region.

European Development Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said in a Tuesday statement alongside Coulibaly that the international community would stand beside Mali during the recovery phase.

"We are going to do all it takes for Mali to return to stability and the conditions for prosperity," he said.

The United Nations sanctioned a new peacekeeping mission for Mali to ensure stability as French and African forces leave.

Malian authorities said they're committed to July elections. Members of the interim government said they wouldn't compete for a role in a new administration.

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