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MILITARY

Sweden to send 160 troops in Mali mission

Sweden's parliament voted on Tuesday in favour of sending up to 160 troops to Mali on July 1 for a maximum of one year in support of a UN peacekeeping mission to the country.

Sweden to send 160 troops in Mali mission

Deputies adopted a proposal from the centre-right government, which said that in “normal circumstances” the Swedish contingent would be around 70.

The Swedish military will also provide materiel to the UN mission.

“Armed extremist groups and criminal groups have since the beginning of 2012 committed extensive acts of cruelty which have caused great human suffering in Mali,” parliament wrote in a statement, saying this justified the UN mission.

Parliament approved a maximum cost of 85 million kronor ($13 million) for the Swedish effort.

The UN force being deployed in Mali, known under the acronym MINUSMA, is to take over security duties from French forces who entered Mali in January to halt an Islamist advance and help the government re-establish its authority over the vast country.

The UN Security Council in April approved the force for Mali, to be made up of 12,600 international troops and police to take over from French and African forces.

Rwandan General Jean-Bosco Kazura has been appointed to command the force.

AFP/The Local/og

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NATO

Turkey forms ‘permanent committee’ to assess Swedish Nato deal

Turkey on Thursday said a new "permanent committee" would meet Finnish and Swedish officials in August to assess if the two nations are complying with Ankara's conditions to ratify their Nato membership bids.

Turkey forms 'permanent committee' to assess Swedish Nato deal

Finland and Sweden dropped their history of military non-alignment and announced plans to join Nato after Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of
February. All 30 Nato members must ratify the accession.

Nato member Turkey has demanded the extradition of dozens of suspected “terrorists” from both countries under an accession deal the three signed last month.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to “freeze” the process over Sweden and Finland’s failure to extradite the suspects.

He accuses them of providing a haven for outlawed Kurdish militants. “If these countries are not implementing the points included in the
memorandum that we signed, we will not ratify the accession protocol,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu reaffirmed in a televised interview.

He said the committee would meet in August but provided no details.Turkey’s parliament has broken for its summer recess and will not be able
to hold a ratification vote before October. Some Turkish officials have warned that the process may drag out until next year.

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