Germany offers transport planes to fly W. African troops to Mali

BERLIN Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:20am EST

BERLIN Jan 16 (Reuters) - Germany will make two Transall transport planes available to fly troops from the West African bloc ECOWAS to Mali's capital Bamako to help in the fight against Islamist rebels, the German government said on Wednesday.

"Germany will provide logistical support," Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in a joint statement with Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. The Germans have ruled out sending combat troops to Mali.

Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara, who currently holds the rotating chairmanship of ECOWAS, was in Berlin on Wednesday for talks with German officials including Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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