MOSCOW, February 24 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian Emergencies Ministry aircraft has delivered humanitarian aid to Mali, the ministry said.
“An Il-76 aircraft with humanitarian aid on board landed in the airport of the Malian capital Bamako at 23:50 Moscow Time [19:50 GMT],” the ministry told RIA Novosti Saturday.
A total of 36 metric tons of humanitarian cargo, including 45 tents, 2,000 blankets, necessities and food, was delivered to the West African country.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday Moscow is calling on the international community to step up its efforts in Mali to prevent the conflict there spreading throughout the region.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and UN special envoy to the Sahel region, Romano Prodi, discussed the ongoing fighting in the country in Moscow on Thursday.
The ministry also said Lavrov and Prodi highlighted the need for the international community to consolidate efforts to bring an end to the crisis, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
French troops went into Mali last month to help the African state’s army battle Islamist rebels.
French and Malian troops fought Islamists on the streets of Gao, in Mali’s desert north, on Thursday, just weeks before Paris plans to withdraw some of its 4,000 troops in the country.