MUNICH, Germany, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- A French official said Friday that his country intends to advance the political process in Mali.
As France and its African partners are able to "secure cities again" step by step, France aims to advance the political process in Mali, Jean-Claude Mallet, an advisor for French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, said at a night session of the 49th Munich Security Conference.
"Military intervention can only make sense if it is in line with political process that is owned by Mali," said Mallet at the session attended by Le Drian, who would visit Mali with French President Francois Hollande on Saturday.
"Not only him (Hollande), but also minister of foreign affairs, minister of defence, and minister for development and cooperations, all of these ministers will travel to Mali tomorrow to show that this process needed to be started as quickly as possible," said Mallet.
The French president is due to meet Malian interim President Dioncounda Traore and visit Timbuktu, a major city recently freed by French-Malian armies, according to French newspaper Liberation.
On Wednesday, France urged the Malian government to open talks with "legitimate representatives" of people in the north after its troops entered Kidal, the last major Malian city held by rebels.
In response, Traore said dialogue was open to the autonomy-seeking Tuareg National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) rebels, but talks with al-Qaida-linked Islamist groups were not possible.
In his opening speech at the Munich Security Conference earlier Friday, German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that military intervention was necessary to resolve problems in Mali, but was not a long-term solution.
"As we read in an Atlantic Council report recently: 'Just because you have a hammer, it does not mean that every problem is a nail,'" he said.
"Developing and establishing viable peacekeeping structures, especially by building-up security structures, is a highly complex process. This is also a lesson learned from Afghanistan," the minister added.