Friday, December 07, 2012 1:23 pm
US backs lead role for Algeria in Mali crisis
The Associated Press
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns described Algeria as the "leader" in conducting the dialogue during a press conference in Algiers late Thursday.
Mali rebel factions recently sent delegations to Algeria and Burkina Faso, whose president, Blaise Compaore, was appointed official negotiator by West African nations.
Algeria has always maintained great sway in northern Mali, though its role in negotiations has been unclear.
West African nations announced plans to help Mali reconquer the area through a military operation, but Algeria has expressed reservations about such a move.
Burns warned that intervention should take into account Mali's overlapping political, security and humanitarian crises.