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."