ALGEIRS, Algeria (AP) — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is seeking Algeria's assistance for any future military intervention in Mali.
Algeria, North Africa's most stable nation, is seen as a key and necessary contributor of intelligence — if not boots on the ground — to any effort to rout the al-Qaida-linked militants across its southern border.
With Algeria warming to the idea of a possible intervention, Clinton met Monday with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (ahb-DUL'-ah-ZEEZ' boot-uh-FLEE'-kuh) in Algiers. U.S. officials said Mali would be a key component of the talks.
The intervention plan right now would see Mali's embattled government in the south and its West African neighbors taking the military lead against northern rebels, with the United States and European countries in support.