MPs to debate Mali mission

Canada's International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino.

Credits: REUTERS


OTTAWA - MPs will soon debate Canada's involvement in Mali as the Conservative government continues to offer limited support to the French-led mission in the west African nation.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed Monday the issue would be debated in the House and be studied by the Commons foreign affairs committee in the coming weeks.

NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair said New Democrats would wait until Parliament has studied the issue before deciding whether to push for further intervention.

"We're going to get full information on the state of play in Mali," he told reporters.

"That's the undertaking. There's nothing else on the table right now. But anything else would of course come before Parliament or its committees. That's what the Prime Minister said and that's what we agreed to."

On Tuesday, International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino will be in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa for an international meeting on the ongoing conflict between French and African troops and jihadist militants in Mali's north.

"Canada remains deeply concerned about the situation in Mali," Fantino said in a statement.

"We will continue to provide life-saving assistance to those most in need, particularly vulnerable women and children."

Canada sent a C-17 transport aircraft to Mali until Feb. 15 to help the French military transport troops and equipment.

Some $76 million in Canadian aid has been sent to Mali and the region since March 2012 for food and sanitation assistance for refugees and internally displaced Malians.

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