France tells UN that Mali operation to last as long as necessary

UNITED NATIONS Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:51pm EST

UNITED NATIONS Jan 11 (Reuters) - France informed the U.N. Security Council on Friday that its military operations in support of the Malian army against Islamist rebels in the north would last as long as needed.

"This operation, which takes place within the framework of international law, will last as long as necessary," France's U.N. ambassador, Gerard Araud, wrote in a letter to the Security Council obtained by Reuters.

"The evolution of the situation justifies the acceleration of the implementation of resolution 2085," he added, referring to a resolution adopted last month that called for deployment of an African-led force in support of the Malian army.

U.N. officials have said the African-led force would not be deployed before September.

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