Georgia ready to participate in EU operation in Mali
Georgia, Tbilisi, April 2 / Trend N.Kirtskhalia /
Georgia is ready to participate in the EU operation in Mali and has already defined its position on the issue, Georgian Defence Minister Irakli Alasania said at a news briefing on Tuesday.
According to him, the Georgian government has already given its consent to the EU to take part in the operation in Mali.
"It relates to our involvement in the military aspect as well, although we are prepared to dispatch staff officers for operational planning and field engineers," he said.
Alasania said the EU has to decide now in what form the Georgian side will participate in the operation in Mali. "We saw that Georgia's initiative was supported by our people. Therefore our participation in the EU operation is very important," he said.
The crisis in Mali began in March 2012 when soldiers of the national army seized the presidential palace in Bamako and overthrew President Amadou Toumani Toure. They explained their actions by the need to put an end to a regime unable to cope with the crisis in the north. These areas were then brought under the control of the Tuaregs and armed groups of Islamists.
The government army with the active support of the French military contingent has been on the offensive against the rebels since January 11. Within three months, Bamako regained control over the cities of Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal.