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French president in Mali visit

There was a hero's welcome for France's President Hollande when he arrived in Timbuktu. He was visiting the desert city in Mali, after its recapture from Islamic extremists.

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Africa minister: British military may provide training in Mali

A British C17 aircraft of the type being sent to lend logistical support in Mali Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds has confirmed that the British military's involvement in the conflict in Mali will be limited to two RAF C17 aircraft providing logistical support, but that it may provide training in the future.

He told Sky News' Murnaghan programme: "We are only providing limited logistical support in response to a French request - two planes.

"We may well, through a European Union mechanism, provide training and support for the Malian army to give them strength to bring back the integrity of the Malian country in totality.

"It's absolutely essential, as part of our obligations as a permanent member of the Security Council that we provide assistance when we are requested."

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