World Bulletin / News Desk
Tuareg-led Mali rebels who seized the north of the West African country in April declared on Sunday they had dropped claims for a separate state after the rebellion was hijacked by fighters now holding sway in the north.
"We are seeking cultural, political and economic independence but not secession," Ibrahim Ag Assaleh, a senior member of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), told Reuters by telephone.
Azawad is the name which the MNLA gives to the northern territory of Mali in which it declared an independence.
A second MNLA official, Hama Ag Mahmoud, told Reuters in the Mauritanian capital Nouakchott: "Independence has been our line since the start of the conflict but we are taking on board the view of the international community to resolve this crisis."
Contacted by telephone in Timbuktu, Ansar Dine spokesman Sanda Ould Boumana said he was not aware of any change in the MNLA position but added: "What I can tell you is that it is us who control the three regions of the north."
On Friday thirty Muslim students were denied entry to the De Mot-Couvreur institute in Brussels for wearing long skirts.
The Ukrainian cabinet of ministers have appointed Mikhail Saakashvili as governor of Odessa, Ukraine.
Belgium has expelled Turkish politician Mahinur Ozdemir over her refusal to use the world "genocide" over the 1915 events.
An American Islamic group have responded to the protest outside mosque in Phoenix.
Russia has put in place a travel ban on 89 politicians and military leaders in a move that has seen the worst stand off with the West in years.
The Italian navy has rescued more than 4,200 migrants in the past 24 hours off the coast of Libya, with a boat carrying 17 corpses.
Israel's Palestine policy has been condemned by the Union of French Jews for Peace as it participates in 'The Ship to Gaza' flotilla to end the blockade in Gaza
Two of Burundi's vice presidents of the election commission have resigned and fled the country.
The US Patriot Act which allows the NSA to collect telephone records is set to expire on Sunday if the US Congress acts to renew it.
Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto had misrepresented a land deal to authorities in which he acquired a property
Sepp Blatter has been reelected as president of FIFA.
The US is considering a preclearance centers to increase security through 10 different airports in Europe.
Eight people have been killed and another eight have been wounded in a rocket attack in Libya
In a sign of a rise in Islamophobia in the US, hundreds of people have attended an anti-Islam rally outside a mosque in Phoenix just weeks after a similar event in Texas
Spanish government agrees to host permanent military presence of US for its Africa mission