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Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 210529, tabled on 14 October 2014

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his French counterpart on (a) drug and human trafficking and (b) terrorist groups in Mali; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

21 October 2014

UK officials are in close and regular contact with their French counterparts on Mali, both bilaterally and in multilateral fora such as the UN and the EU. The UK Special Representative for the Sahel has recently visited Mali and will be meeting a number of EU colleagues in the coming days. We remain committed to working with our partners, including France, to bear down on terrorism and organised crime in Mali and the Sahel. Ultimately, stability in Mali will only be possible if there is a political agreement between the Malian government and the various communities in the country. That is why we support the negotiations taking place in Algiers.

In the meantime we will work to strengthen the capacity of the UN Mission (MINUSMA) to carry out its important tasks in Mali. We will continue our participation in the EU Training Mission in Mali, and in the new civilian EU Mission whose objective is to strengthen the civilian security forces’ ability to tackle organised crime, including drug and people trafficking. We will also continue to lead the international effort to eradicate the payment of ransoms to kidnappers, which is an important source of funding for terrorist groups.