Statement by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on providing logistical support to Mali

Ottawa, Ontario
14 January 2013

"The Government of Canada is deeply concerned by recent events in Mali. The establishment of a terrorist region in the middle of Africa is of grave concern to the broader international community, including Canada and our close allies.

"I want to express our condolences to the families of the French pilot and other innocent victims who have lost their lives.
"In December, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 2085, which called upon member states to provide coordinated assistance to the Malian Defence and Security Forces in order to reduce the threat posed by terrorist organizations.
"Last week I pledged that Canada would work diplomatically with our allies on how best to address the situation in Mali. While the Government of Canada is not, and will not be, considering a direct Canadian military mission in Mali, Canada is prepared, consistent with the UN Security Council Resolution, to provide limited and clearly defined logistical support to assist the forces that are intervening in Mali.

"Today our Government received a specific request from the French Government for heavy-lift aircraft to assist in the transport of equipment into the Malian capital of Bamako, a location that is not part of any active combat zone."

"The Government of Canada will support our allies in this request and will be providing one RCAF C-17 transport aircraft in a non-combat role to support operations for a period of one week.  The RCAF aircraft will not operate in any combat zone.

"At no time will Canadian Armed Forces members be participating in direct action against insurgent forces in Mali.
"In addition to our logistical support, Canada will continue to provide humanitarian aid and development assistance to this region to help alleviate the worsening humanitarian conditions in the region.
"Canada's foreign policy is rooted in respect for freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. We will support our allies as they seek to re-establish security and democracy for the people of Mali in a manner consistent with international law."