German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday said about 650 soldiers will be sent to Mali to help provide some relief to France in fighting terrorism.

“We will and must stand firmly by France’s side and do everything we can to help in this situation,” von der Leyen said after a parliamentary defence committee meeting, adding. ”We will make a substantial contribution to this mandate. That is why we will soon put a mandate for 650 troops before (the German) parliament.”

Von der Leyen announcement came hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel travels to Paris to meet President Francois Hollande to discuss support following the Paris terror attacks on November 13 that killed 130 people and 352 injured carried out by the Islamic State jihadists.

According to her, German soldiers would focus on logistics and reconnaissance as part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

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