Germany is ready to send up to 650 soldiers to Mali to bolster the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the West African country and to help France in the region, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.

 

“We will shortly ask parliament to approve a mandate of up to 650 soldiers,” von der Leyen said after a meeting of the Bundestag lower house of parliament’s defense committee.

 

She added that Germany also planned to increase the number of soldiers training Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iraq to up to 150 from 100.