File Photo: Islamist rebels from the Ansar Dine faction prepare to pray in the desert just outside Gao, Mali.

Nicosia, Cyprus - A senior EU Foreign Affairs official says the 27-nation bloc is considering requests to support West African-led military intervention in Mali and to restructure the country's beleaguered army.

European External Action Service Deputy Secretary-General Maciej Popowski says the EU is studying a request to back a proposed troop deployment by the Economic Community of West African States to root out Al-Qaida -linked Islamists who overran northern Mali after a March coup.

Separately, Mali's interim government has asked for support for restructuring the country's military.

Popowski said the EU is “ready to play an active role in coordinating an international effort” and would work with the U.N. and other international organizations on the issue. - Sapa-AP