Egypt’s president Mohamed Mursi has spoken out against France’s intervention in Mali.

He has warned that the military action could result in a “new conflict hotspot” being created in North Africa. His comments were made at the Arab economic summit being held in Saudi Arabia, where he called for a more “peaceful” form of intervention in Mali.

Mursi’s speech follows the deaths of foreign hostages kidnapped at a gas plant in Algeria, taken in retaliation for French military involvement in Mali.

The UK government is said to be in discussions on ways of offering more assistance to French forces in Mali. The country has already lent two military aircraft.

In early January 2013, Islamist forces seized the town of Konna in Mali. The French government responded to requests for help from Mali’s president with troops and air strikes on rebel targets.