The Spanish ambassador was summoned Friday by the Malian government after remarks by the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs who said “not to exclude” a NATO military intervention in the country, according to the head of Malian diplomacy. Read alsoMali: the Tuaregs unite against terrorism “Today we summoned the Spanish ambassador to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to raise a strong protest against his remarks”, said Friday evening Abdoulaye Diop during an interview on national television. A NATO intervention in Mali, “we do not exclude it”. “If it posed a threat to our security, we would do it,” said José Manuel Albares, head of Spanish diplomacy, on the sidelines of the Alliance summit held in Madrid on Thursday. “These remarks are unacceptable, unfriendly, serious” because “they tend to encourage aggression against an independent and sovereign country”, estimated the Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs. “We have asked for an explanation, a clarification of this position from the Spanish government. We hope it will come fairly quickly,” added Abdoulaye Diop. “The minister must remember that the current situation of insecurity and expansion of terrorism in the Sahel is above all linked to NATO’s intervention in Libya, the consequences of which we are still paying for,” he also underlined. SEE ALSO – Mali: 132 civilians killed in attacks launched by suspected jihadists NATO’s new roadmap evokes for the first time the “strategic interest” of the Middle East, Africa North and the Sahel, as well as, in particular, the threats posed by terrorism and illegal immigration. Spain had made taking into account the threats on the southern flank its top priority for this summit. Madrid is particularly concerned that instability in the Sahel, where several jihadist groups are very active, will lead to an increase in illegal immigration. Located a few kilometers from the African coast, Spain has become one of the main gateways for illegal immigration to Europe. Read alsoIn Mali, a new massacre arouses anger Mali has been plunged into a deep security, political and humanitarian crisis since the outbreak of separatist and jihadist insurgencies in 2012 in the North. The jihadist spread has spread to the center and neighboring countries, Burkina Faso and Niger.
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