Mali could be another Afghanistan: Baird

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird speaks in front of the Monument to Fallen Diplomats in Ottawa,...

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird speaks in front of the Monument to Fallen Diplomats in Ottawa, Sept. 20, 2012. (Andre Forget/QMI Agency)

Jessica Murphy, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 9:49 PM ET

OTTAWA -- The Conservative government is weighing requests to send more funds and to help train troops to fight in Mali, says Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

But speaking to the House foreign affairs committee Tuesday, he repeated the government's refusal to send armed soldiers to the West African nation.

"We re not at the drop of a hat going to get into another Afghanistan," Baird said.

In testimony earlier in the day, former Canada diplomat Robert Fowler told MPs on committee Canada should expand its mission in the conflict-ridden country because of the international security threat posed by the Jihadist terrorists in Mali and the surrounding region.

In 2008, Fowler was kidnapped by an al-Qaida-linked terror group - now operating in Mali - in nearby Niger. He was released in 2009.

 


Photos