Fowler blasts Tories over Mali troop request
OTTAWA - Robert Fowler, the retired Canadian diplomat who was kidnapped by terrorists in Africa, is blasting the Harper government for saying it has not been asked to contribute to the international military mission to Mali.
Fowler is condemning the government for advancing that position on the eve of Tuesday's meeting in Ottawa between Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the head of the African Union, where a request for Canadian troops is widely expected.
Fowler, a former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations, accused the government of ignoring the Dec. 20 resolution by the UN Security Council that called on all countries to contribute to halt the spread of terrorism that has taken root in Mali.
A government official who would speak only on condition on anonymity said today that no formal request had been made of Canada.
Harper hosts AU President Thomas Boni Yayi on Parliament Hill, where the chaos and violence gripping Mali will be high on the agenda.
Mali was struck by a military coup in March and now has a group linked to al-Qaida controlling its north.