File photo shows a number of French soldiers near Sevare, a town in Mali’s Mopti region.
A senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official has called for an immediate end to the French-led war in Mali.
Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the call on Wednesday, urging the maintenance of Mali’s sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran, while pursuing the developments in this country, expressed regret over the killing and displacement of thousands of innocent civilians in this country,” he added.
Abdollahian said Iran, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), is ready to help Mali restore peace and maintain its territorial integrity.
On January 11, France launched a war under the pretext of halting the advance of the fighters in Mali.
Chaos broke out in Mali after President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government's inability to contain the Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country, which had been going on for two months.
However, in the wake of the coup d’état, the Tuareg rebels took control of the entire northern desert region, but the Ansar Dine fighters then pushed them aside and took control of the region, which is larger than France or Texas.
Some political analysts believe that Mali’s abandoned natural resources, including gold and uranium reserves, could be one of the reasons behind the French war.
The UN refugee agency has warned that the war in Mali could leave at least 700,000 people homeless.