Canada Extends French Mission Support In Mali By Thirty Days

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By Tendar Tsering | February 15, 2013 5:58 PM EST

The federal government of Canada Thursday once again extended its airlift support for French mission in Mali by thirty days.

The Canadian French mission support in Mali consists of a Royal Canadian air force, CC-17 globe-master III, the strategic airlift aircraft and approximately 40 air force personnel.

"Canada is committed to standing with our international allies in a fight against extremists and to making a positive contribution to regional and international security," said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence in a press statement Thursday.

"The work of our well-equipped Canadian men and women in uniform, in support of our Government's intent, is helping to stabilize the security situation in Mali and beyond."

The federal government initially offered the support at the request of French government January 15 and this is the second time that the Canadian government is extending the airlift support for French mission in Mali.

Originally, the airlift was offered only for a week but was later extended till February 15.

Since Canada offered its air force support at the request of French government, the war flights have traveled more than 194,000 kilometers carrying more than 765,000 kilograms of military equipment and personnel in support of Operation Serval.

Signalling that Canadian government is committed in offering help to combat international threats, the Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird acknowledged the mission in Mali.

"Canada is very pleased to support our French allies and the good work they and African forces are doing to combat extremism in Northern Mali," said Foreign Affairs minister in the same statement.

"Some questioned the need for this type of military asset at the time our government purchased it. The example of recent days and weeks proves the worth of this type of heavy-lift capability and the wisdom of the government's decision to invest in it for the Royal Canadian Air force," he added.  

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