France says will leave Mali when it stable, safe

Updated 16 January 2013
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France says will leave Mali when it stable, safe

DUBAI/BERLIN: France will wrap up its intervention in Mali and pull its forces out once the West African country has returned to being stable and safe with a solid political system, French President Francois Hollande said yesterday.
Hollande's statement, in response to a question on how long French forces could be deployed in Mali, suggested France could have a major role in its former colony for longer than the several weeks his government has so far indicated.
"As soon as there is an African force, in the coming days or weeks, that is backed by the international community and by Europe, France will not have a reason to stay in Mali," he told a news conference during a visit to the United Arab Emirates.
"We have one goal, however. To ensure that when we leave, when we end our intervention, Mali is safe, has legitimate authorities, an electoral process and there are no more terrorists threatening its territory," Hollande said.
France hit rebels with more air strikes and sent in armoured cars on day five of its effort to help the Malian government quash a push south by the militants, as regional allies struggled to speed up deployment of their troops.
Hollande, who said the United Arab Emirates had expressed its support for France's Mali campaign, said rebel fighters could be taken prisoner in some cases but the main goal was to "destroy" them.


Nawaz Sharif flying back to Pakistan with his daughter

Updated 22 April 2018
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Nawaz Sharif flying back to Pakistan with his daughter

  • The former premier and his family are facing corruption charges in the wake of the apex court’s verdict against them in the Panama case
  • PM Abbasi says the Sharifs will not choose self-imposed exile

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, and his daughter, Maryam, will reach Pakistan tonight after spending a few days in London.
The two most prominent leaders of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party had flown to the United Kingdom on Wednesday to visit the ex-premier’s ailing wife, Kalsoom Nawaz, who is undergoing cancer treatment in that country.
Some of their political rivals had criticized their departure from Pakistan, claiming that they were facing serious financial allegations and their prolonged absence from the country could jeopardize the accountability process against them.
Maryam Nawaz, however, assuaged these fears when she tweeted on Sunday: “At the Heathrow, leaving for Islamabad shortly.” She added that she “will arrive [in Pakistan] in the wee hours to be at the court.”

On Saturday, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also rejected the possibility that Sharif and his daughter would take advantage of their visit to the UK and turn it into a self-imposed exile.
Sharif had also issued a similar statement, saying: “I will not act like Pervez Musharraf and will return to the country soon.”
While the primary purpose of his visit to London was to meet his wife and interact with her doctors, the former premier also met Abbasi, who was invited to a Commonwealth conference, and discussed with him the issue of choosing the interim prime minister.
Once the Sharifs return to Pakistan, they will face court cases again and continue their party’s struggle to win the next general elections.