An eight-strong Irish military team is to be sent to Mali to join a training mission there.
The decision has yet to be rubber stamped but it is expected that the troops will be on the ground there within the next couple of months. A two-day meeting of EU defence ministers, which gets under way at Dublin Castle this morning, will be briefed by a commander of the training mission. The Irish contingent has been invited by the EU to take part in the mission and will involve about half a dozen military trainers and one or two staff officers. Britain has also offered to deploy about 40 military trainers, but its government is insisting on proper protection for the mission.