West Africa: U.S. State Department Daily Press Briefing: Mali

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Excerpt from the United States Department of State daily press briefing:

QUESTION: Yeah, one more on AU, sorry. You said that the ECOMOG force - I think you'd like to see in Mali, could be patterned on --

MS. NULAND: ECOWAS force.

QUESTION: Yeah. The ECOWAS, ECOMOG force in Mali would be patterned sort of on AMISOM. So what would you like to see the African Union do in support of the Mali force? And is that part of tomorrow's conversation, too?

MS. NULAND: Well I think you know that the UN Security Council asked ECOWAS to refine its proposal for how it would strengthen a mission in Mali. We are waiting for a formal report from ECOWAS about the kind of mission it sees, what kind of international support it would need for it. So I think the expectation is that the AU would be supportive of that as well. So I think we will compare notes on what we think is needed in security terms, but also in political terms in Mali. We've talked a lot about trying to split off moderate Tuaregs, get them into a conversation with the interim government about a way forward that meets the human, economic, and political needs of that population so that they're not drawn to terror, so they're not drawn to separatism. So that will be part of the conversation as well.

QUESTION: Toria, can you stay in Africa just for one --

MS. NULAND: Yes.

QUESTION: -- but mostly Africa? That's the Kimberley Process meeting today - that's going on this week here. I know there's going to be a press conference that they're going to have, but is there anything that you can say from here about what you're expecting or hoping to get out of this meeting?

MS. NULAND: I don't have anything on what they are up to. But we are going to do something at the end. Let me see if I can get an interim report for you, Matt, for tomorrow.

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