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The ministers said they welcomed undertakings by member states to contribute to the training mission and would submit these plans to EU leaders for their approval at a summit next month. Several EU members have expressed their readiness to help train the Malian army so it can retake the north.

The United States is also worried that the Sahel region of northeastern Mali could become a terrorist haven, and is pushing for international action in the region.

Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.