First Published: 2012-11-08

 

Qaeda in northern Mali: Algeria plays down threat, world grows restless

 

UN special envoy for Sahel meets Algerian President for talks on Mali, as world body pushes for resolution to crisis there.

 

Middle East Online

Algeria has been hesitant to get involved

ALGIERS - The UN special envoy for the Sahel on Thursday met Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for talks on the situation in Mali, as the world body pushes for a resolution to the crisis there.

Romano Prodi, an Italian former premier and ex-president of the European Commission, had a "detailed" discussion on Mali with Bouteflika, the APS news agency said without giving further details.

The meeting comes as West African heads of state prepared to meet on Sunday in Abuja to adopt a plan for their troops to recapture northern Mali from radical Islamists, the grouping said in a statement on Thursday.

Algeria, with its superior military capabilities and its 1,400-kilometre (875-mile) border with Mali, is seen as key to any military operation but has been hesitant to get involved, preferring a negotiated solution.

Facing a potentially violent ouster, Ansar Dine, the main Islamist group in Mali which has links to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, has called for dialogue and a halt to hostilities.

Negotiations with Ansar Dine, which has occupied key cities such as Timbuktu for seven months, are under way in Burkina Faso and have been joined by a delegation fresh from talks in the Algerian capital.

In October, the UN Security Council approved a resolution urging the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to speed up preparations for a military intervention to help recapture northern Mali.

It gave ECOWAS until November 26 to clarify its plans.

 

Gaza civilian toll spiralling to above 800

Jordan shots down drone near Syria border

Sadly no survivors on Air Algerie flight crash

Two rival Islamic states in Syria power struggle

Ordeal of ‘apostasy’ woman ends with departure from Sudan

Crete protest against Syria chemicals destruction in Mediterranean

74 killed in IS assault on Syria regime territory

Iran confirms arrest of Washington Post correspondent

Somali 'Shebab commanders' killed in AU offensive

Paris: survivors of Air Algerie jet crash 'unlikely'

UN urges Europe to tackle Mediterranean migrant crisis

From Israel with ‘virus’: Death threat letter reaches Palestinian mission in France

Another bloody day as Israel targets civilians in UN-run school

‘Islamic State’ launches multiple attacks on Syria army

Attack on Egypt army post bears fingerprints of foreign intelligence

Harassment of Christians escalates in Islamist-run Sudan

Air Algerie plane goes missing over Mali

Algeria plane with many French nationals on board vanishes over Mali

Iraqi protesters denounce treatment of minority Christians

Iraq elects Kurdish politician as federal president

Russia begins supplying military equipment to Iraq

Air Algerie plane contact lost over west Africa

South Sudan warring sides to resume peace talks

Baghdad closer to breaking political limbo

Spectacular attack on Iraq prisoner convoy

Gaza death toll passes 700 mark

Mladenov pleads for UN help to end IS 'atrocities' in Iraq

Hamas hails suspension of Israel flights as 'great victory'

Lebanon army records first case of desertion to join Syria Nusra Front

Iraq gunmen kill female former candidate for parliament

Kerry cites ‘some steps forward’ in Gaza truce efforts

Turkey hunts for nine intelligence officers in wire-tapping probe

Suspension of hostilities in Gaza to allow medical assistance

Assassination of famed Somali musician and lawmaker

Sisi defends Egypt in trying to broker Gaza truce

Syria welcomes nomination of Staffan de Mistura as new UN envoy

Iraq lawmakers stall presidential election as violence yields grim crop of bodies

Yemen president calls for unity

Etihad helps Jet Airways return to profit

Is Tunisia returning to old regime censorship?

Qatar emir in unannounced visit to Saudi

HRW: Iraq air strikes wreaking awful toll on civilians

Kuwait revokes pro-opposition TV, newspaper licences

Twin suicide bombing shakes Libya's Benghazi

Islamic State expands into tourism in Syria, Iraq