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NEW YORK, June 19, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Li Baodong ( China):

On Friday, 15 June, the members of the Security Council met with a high-level delegation from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to discuss the situation in Mali.

The members of the Security Council shared the concerns raised by representatives of ECOWAS regarding the current challenges for the restoration of full constitutional order in Mali and for upholding the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Mali.

The members of the Security Council encouraged a political settlement of the crisis and reiterated their full support to the mediation efforts currently made by ECOWAS and its mediator, President Blaise Compaoré, as well as by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and by the African Union.

The members of the Security Council took note in this context of the request of ECOWAS and the African Union for a Security Council mandate authorizing the deployment of an ECOWAS stabilization force in order to ensure the protection of Malian State institutions and assist in upholding the territorial integrity of Mali and in combating terrorism.

The members of the Security Council expressed their readiness to further examine the request of ECOWAS once additional information has been provided regarding the objectives, means and modalities of the envisaged deployment and other possible measures. In this regard, the members of the Security Council encouraged a close cooperation between the Commission of ECOWAS, the Commission of the African Union, the United Nations Secretariat and countries in the region in order to prepare detailed options.