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Obama: U.S. supports France in Mali

Jan. 26, 2013 at 2:18 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama Friday told French President Francois Hollande he supports French leadership in countering terror in Mali.

The two leaders spoke to "continue their ongoing consultations on shared security concerns, including Mali, Algeria, Libya, and Syria," a White House readout of their phone call stated.

"On Mali, the president expressed his support for France's leadership of the international community's efforts to deny terrorists a safe haven in Mali. President Hollande thanked President Obama for the significant support provided by the United States to this effort," the statement said.

"The two leaders emphasized the need to rapidly establish the African-led International Support Mission in Mali, as well as the importance of the Interim Government of Mali establishing a political roadmap that will lead to elections and restoration of democratic governance.

The leaders "condemned last week's terrorist act in Algeria and affirmed their mutual commitment to countering terrorism more broadly in North Africa" and "noted the importance of sustained assistance to Libya as it works to build effective security sector institutions."

They also discussed Syria, "expressing their strong concern about the humanitarian crisis affecting not just Syria but also neighboring countries and reiterating their commitment to assisting the Syrian people achieve political transition to a post-Asad Syria," the White House said.

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