Spain pushes NATO leaders to agree bigger role in North Africa, Sahel
Spain will urge fellow NATO allies to consider a bigger role for the alliance in North Africa and the Sahel at a summit in Madrid on Thursday, and Spain's foreign minister said an intervention in Mali should not be ruled out.
NATO has little appetite for such steps, diplomats say, but as it undertakes the largest scaling-up of its defences since the Cold War to the east, allies such as Spain and Italy worry threats on the southern border risk being ignored.
NATO's 30 leaders will hold a final summit session, focused on the south, on Thursday morning, after almost two days of talks dominated by Russia's war in Ukraine.
Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said he did not rule out a NATO intervention in Mali if needed, after the alliance's summit statement cited terrorism among the "hybrid threats" that hostile powers can use to undermine its stability.