EU resumes 250 million euro aid package to Mali

Baku, February 14 (AZERTAC). The European Union on Tuesday said it would resume aid worth up to 250 million euros for Mali as authorities move to restore democracy in the beleaguered West African nation. A quarter of a billion euros of EU funds earmarked for Mali were frozen last year in the wake of a March military coup that opened the way for Islamist insurgents to take over the vast northern half of the country, before French-led forces launched a military offensive last month to drive them out. 

"The swift adoption by the Malian authorities of a transition roadmap to restore democracy and stability has opened the door for restarting gradually development aid," said Europe`s development commissioner Andris Piebalgs in a statement. Speaking at a meeting of EU development ministers in Ireland, Piebalgs said the decision showed the bloc`s long-standing commitment to Mali, a long peaceful state which is one of the world`s poorest. The EU commissioner said the aid would be used on the one hand to help restore democracy and peace by focusing on reconciliation, conflict prevention and a bid to hold elections as early as July.

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