West African leaders gather for Mali summit as French-led military operation enters 2nd week

Published January 19, 2013

| Associated Press

West African leaders are gathering for a summit on Mali to flesh out their plans for ramping up its military role alongside the French.

The meetings taking place Saturday in Ivory Coast come as the French-led military intervention in Mali enters its second week.

Charles Koffi Diby, Ivory Coast's foreign affairs minister, says Mali's neighbors must "face up to the weight of our responsibilities in conducting and coordinating military operations in Mali."

West African nations are expected to contribute about 3,000 troops, while France has said it has 1,800 forces in its former colony.

France's unilateral move on Jan. 11 to intervene in Mali has put both European and African contributors to a long-planned, U.N.-backed stabilization effort for Mali on a faster track.

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http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/19/west-african-leaders-gather-for-mali-summit-as-french-led-military-operation/