Foreign Secretary William Hague is in Mali in the first visit by a British foreign secretary to the country. The trip comes following the deployment on UK forces as part of an operation to drive out al Qaida backed fighters from the north.
The Foreign Secretary saw for himself today what's being done to tackle the threat of terrorism in part of North Africa. William Hague visited the Malian capital, Bamako to speak to the Government and military about how to bring stability to the region. Speaking during his visit, Mr Hague said:
The evolving threat from terrorist groups in Mali has necessitated a urgent international response to help the Malians restore their territorial integrity and deny terrorists a safe haven in their country.
I welcomed the Malian Government's agreement of the political roadmap towards elections and a transition to full democratic rule. I promised that the UK would work with partners in the region, the UN and the EU, to help Mali establish effective arrangements for the elections.
Foreign Secretary William Hague is in the African nation of Mali as part of efforts to combat terror and restore security to the country. He is due to meet with the Malian Government and members of the military.
Speaking after arriving in Bamako, Mr Hague said:
My visit, the first by a British Foreign Secretary, underlines the UK's strong commitment to work with international partners to support Mali and countries in the region on countering terrorism and restoring security in the country. Mali is at the heart of a range of complex political, security and development challenges that have the potential to affect the wider region.
It is vital that we work together to tackle these challenges. I look forward to discussing the Malian Government's plans to implement their roadmap towards elections and the restoration of full democratic rule. A more inclusive political process is critical for longer-term stability in Mali. The UK stands with the people of Mali as they seek to secure their country, re-build their livelihoods and resolve long-standing grievances.