Germany backs France action in Mali

French fighter jets pictured in mali on January 13, 2013.

Germany says it is considering ways to provide logistical, medical and humanitarian aid to France in its military intervention in Mali.

“For the federal government and for Foreign Minister (Guido) Westerwelle it is clear that Germany will not leave France alone in this difficult situation,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke said at a news conference on Monday.

“Such support could come in the field of logistics, medical support or humanitarian support,” he also said.

Peschke also told reporters that Westerwelle and Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere would consider how Berlin “can offer concrete support, other than military action.”

The German ministers will hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French government to find out how Germany can provide help to France in its military action in Mali, he added.

Also on Monday, a NATO spokesman said that the alliance would support France’s operations in Mali but that it had not received any request from Paris for help and there had been no “discussion within NATO of this crisis.”

“We welcome the efforts of the international community in support of the implementation of the United Nations … resolution 2085 (on Mali),” the spokesman said.

On Sunday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stated that the United States, Britain, Denmark and other European countries provided support for the French-led operation.

“We have the support of the Americans for communications and transport,” Fabius said on Sunday.

An American official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said on Saturday that Washington had offered to send drones, adding that US commanders also planned to provide intelligence, aerial refueling tankers and logistical backup.

The British government also said in a statement on Saturday that it would “provide logistical military assistance to help transport foreign troops and equipment quickly to Mali.”

France began its military intervention in Mali on Friday, saying the war effort meant to halt advances made by the rebels, who control the north of the West African country.

Chaos broke out in the West African country after Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they had mounted the coup in response to the government’s inability to contain the two-month Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country.