Italy Prime Minister Mario Monti says there is no consensus among Italian political factions on the country’s plan to provide logistical support to the French-led war in Mali. “I asked the leaders of the three parties of the majority to give their views but we did not receive the support we had hoped for," Monti said in a Monday TV interview. The comments come as Italy is preparing for the next month election in which Monti himself is running as leader of the coalition of centrist parties. Moreover, Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi has stated that despite Rome’s support for the military operation in Mali, the country cannot provide concrete assistance under the existing circumstances due to “internal political conditions” in Italy.
Last week, Italian Defense Minister Giampaolo Di Paola said his country would send a refueling and two transport planes to carry troops and equipment during the French-led military operations in the West African country.The Italian premier has not made it clear in his new comments whether the change in Italy’s decision would also include the country’s plan to send a 15- to 24-member delegation of instructors to train Malian troops. The United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Germany and Denmark have voiced support for the French war on Mali. Analysts believe motives to exploit untapped resources including oil, gold as well as uranium in the region are behind the multinational military campaign in Mali. ASH/SS/MA