Swiss to allow fly-over by Mali aircraft

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iol pic afr mali troops REUTERS A Malian gendarme stands guard after the arrival of a US Air Force C-17 transport plane with French troops at the airport in Bamako.

Geneva - Switzerland said on Wednesday that it is allowing aircraft from countries involved in the military intervention in Mali to fly over its territory.

The green light also applies to planes transporting munition and arms, the official Bern statement added.

The decision “is compatible with Switzerland's neutrality because the ongoing military operations are being carried out at the Malian government's request and fall under the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 2085,” Bern said.

The resolution, adopted in late December, authorised the deployment of an African-led mission in Mali for one year.

The go-ahead comes as France is entering the final phase of its intervention to recapture the north from Islamist rebels.

According to a spokesman for the Swiss federal civil aviation office in Bern, “a country” had submitted a request for the flights, but he did not specify which.

The last time Switzerland issued such permission was in 2011 during the Libyan conflict. - Sapa-AFP

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