EU rejects any break-up of Mali
(BRUSSELS) - The European Union on Friday rejected any break-up of Mali and called for talks to resolve the crisis after a Tuareg rebel group proclaimed independence in the north of the country.
"The EU has made clear throughout the crisis that it respects the territorial integrity of Mali," Maja Kocijancic, the spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, told AFP.
"Any political solution to the current crisis must be found within the existing constitutional framework."
The reaction comes after the main Tuareg rebel group, the MNLA, had declared the independence of their desert homeland they call Azawad.
However, the military chief of another rebel group that controls the city of Timbuktu, an Islamist movement known as Ansar Dine, has opposed Tuareg independence in northern Mali.
Kocijancic said it backed efforts by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS to broker an end to the crisis in Mali which has been plunged into chaos since a coup last month.
"Until constitutional rule has been restored throughout Mali, these issues cannot be solved," said the spokeswoman.
"We fully support ECOWAS efforts to achieve a swift solution to the problem."
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