PARIS Jan 11 France will support Mali's request
for military assistance to help counter an offensive by Islamist
rebels but strictly within the framework of a U.N. Security
Council resolution, President Francois Hollande said on Friday.
"We are faced with a blatant aggression that is threatening
Mali's very existence," Hollande said in a New Year speech to
diplomats and journalists.
"I have decided that France will respond, alongside our
African partners, to the request from the Malian authorities. We
will do it strictly within the framework of the United Nations
Security Council resolution. We will be ready to stop the
terrorists' offensive if it continues."