Draft UN resolution would authorize UN peacekeeping force to stabilize towns in northern Mali

France has circulated a draft U.N. resolution that would authorize a U.N. peacekeeping force to stabilize key towns in northern Mali and help promote a return to democracy and extend government authority throughout the conflict-wracked country.

The draft resolution, obtained Monday by the Associated Press, would authorize French troops to intervene to support U.N. troops "under imminent and serious threat." It makes no mention of counter-terrorism operations, currently being carried out by France, which is likely to continue doing so under an agreement with the Malian government.

The draft would authorize a U.N. force comprising 11,200 military personnel and 1,440 international police to take over from African troops now in Mali on July 1. But it says the transfer could be delayed if terrorists pose a major threat.