01/08/2013 02:20 EST | Updated 03/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Harper rules out Canadian military mission in Mali

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada is not looking at any military intervention in Mali.

He says Canada will work diplomatically with western allies and African countries to seek a solution.

His comments came after a closed-door meeting with President Thomas Boni Yayi of Benin, current head of the African Union.

Yayi, however, says he would like to see NATO play a direct role in Mali alongside an African-led force authorized by the United Nations.

He says the insurgency in Mali poses a terrorist threat to the whole world.

Islamist rebels have seized the northern parts of Mali.