The German government has paved the way to expand its military deployment in Mali, raising the number of soldiers who can serve on a training mission in the West African nation.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert says her Cabinet decided Wednesday to raise the country's maximum troop strength in Mali to 250 from the current 180. The decision requires parliamentary approval.

Germany currently has 104 troops in the European Union mission training Malian soldiers, and officials have said they want to step up that effort — part of a cautious move toward a more active foreign-policy role by Merkel's new government.

Germany says it may give France logistical help in Central African Republic, too, but won't send combat troops.