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    German Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen talks to journalists prior to the start of an European Union Defence Ministers' meeting at the EU Council in Brussels on November 17, 2015

    Germany to Up Its Presence in West Africa to Help France Redistribute Army

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    According to German Defense minister, Berlin is planning to send in more troops to Western Africa in order to give France the opportunity to redistribute its forces.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Germany will intensify its participation of its UN mission in Mali and take on the leading role in the European mission in training in Western Africa so that France may redistribute its military forces, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday.

    “It’s been decided that we will increase our participation in the UN mission in Mali <…> We are currently on the stage of detail planning,” von der Leyen said in Brussels.

    She said that the decision was “important for France’s presence in West Africa because the more effective the [UN mission in Mali] is, the more France has the opportunity to redistribute its forces.”

    Earlier on Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande said the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle would head to the eastern Mediterranean offshore areas of Syria and Lebanon, instead of the Persian Gulf as previously announced, to support military operations against the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.


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