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Lidové noviny - Czech Republic | Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mali is France's problem, not Europe's

The foreign ministers of the EU states have convened for an emergency meeting in Brussels on the crisis in Mali this Thursday morning. It remains open whether France's desire for greater European involvement will be addressed. The conservative daily Lidové noviny advises against such action: "Is there any argument in favour of concerted European intervention? Paris would welcome greater commitment on Europe's part and has made no bones about this. Whether they like it or not the Europeans must, however, keep in mind that France in the end remains France and is doing what it always does. Let us remember where and how France defends its interests. When it comes to the Mediterranean, the Arab world and North Africa France is always active. But when in August 2008 Georgia had to fight off a Russian offensive it was Paris that opposed any steps against Moscow and threatened to put a stop to the EU partnership with the eastern states. With all due respect, it's only logical now that Mali is France's problem, not Europe's."

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