West Midlands UKIP MEP James Carver has urged a delegation from the West African state of Mali not to “put all their eggs into one EU basket”.
Top of the agenda for talks with the Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs spokesman and other members of the European Parliamentarians with Africa group were security and development.
Mr Carver said the former French colony suffers from sporadic activity by Islamist fundamentalists and Tuareg separatists in the north, making the area “tense”.
Although the country is self-sufficient in food and is one of Africa’s major cotton producers, it has a chronic foreign trade deficit, making it heavily dependent on foreign aid.
Mr Carver said the EU supported the country with aid, but he advised its Ambassador Mahamane Aoudou Cisse to look to other international organisations for military help.
He said: “My advice was not to put all their eggs in one basket but to look to other international bodies such as the UN, the Commonwealth and Francophonie for military aid.
“Britain has around 100 military personnel in an advisory role stationed there and I will be writing to the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, urging more support to help Mali ensure its security.”