France to begin progressive withdrawal from Afghanistan

Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

France is to follow in the footsteps of the US and carry out a progressive pullback of its forces in Afghanistan.


A statement released by President Nicolas Sarkozy's office on Thursday said that France would withdraw “in a proportional manner and in a timeframe similar to the pullback of the American reinforcements."

The statement came a day after US President Barack Obama ordered all 33,000 US surge troops home from Afghanistan by next summer and declared the beginning of the end of the war, saying the withdrawal would begin this July.

Before his speech, Obama held a telephone conversation on Wednesday with the French president to discuss the common commitment by France and the US to Afghanistan, according to the Elysee Palace statement.

The French president "stressed that France shared the American analysis and objectives and that it was happy with President Obama's decision," said the statement.

Four thousand French troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan.


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