U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says "dialogue is not possible at this time" with Mali's Islamic insurgents and that the solution to the unrest in the west African country will ultimately depend on political, diplomatic and military means.
The U.N. chief on Tuesday also praised France's military intervention in Mali, saying, "I applaud France for its courageous decision to deploy troops following the troubling move southward by extremist groups."
Ban also called Mali a political challenge. He says, "It was the coup and the collapse of Mali's democracy that opened the way for extremists."
He says military gains must be matched by efforts to restore full constitutional order and legitimacy in the country.