- The Washington Times - Friday, February 22, 2013

Russia’s foreign ministry said the international community must ramp up its efforts and stop the tide of violence from rising in Mali.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called for a more coordinated global response, along with U.N. Special Envoy to Mali, Romano Prodi, during a meeting in Moscow on Friday, the United International Press reports.

“It was agreed that a lack of control over the spread of weapons in the region after the Libya conflict has created the basis for an escalation in tensions throughout the Sahel region, Mr. Lavrov said, according to UPI.

The joint statement did not specify what action the global community should take. French troops have been in Mali for weeks battling Islamist rebels that have taken control of the northern part of the nation. France is planning to withdraw some of its 4,000 troops that are currently in the country, though, UPI reports.

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