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Canada, France vow to continue backing Afghanistan
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11:02, April 13, 2008

Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier (R), Afghan Foreign Minister Rangeen Dadfar Spanta (C) and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner shake hands after a joint press conference at the Foreign Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan, April 12, 2008. Visiting foreign ministers of Canada and France on Saturday repeated their respective governments' continued support to the post-Taliban Afghanistan.
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Visiting foreign ministers of Canada and France on Saturday repeated their respective governments' continued support to the post-Taliban Afghanistan.

"We want to help the Afghan government and we want to help the Afghan people live in peace and security," Canadian Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier told a joint press conference attended by his French and Afghan counterparts here.

He also stressed that Canada would continue its military mission in Afghanistan until 2011.

Presently Canada has 2,500 troops stationed in former Taliban stronghold Kandahar to stabilize security in the restive region.

Canada would continue to support Afghan national army and national police in order to enable them to assume security in the war-torn country's southern region, he added.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, whose country announced recently to send additional 700 troops to Afghanistan, hoped that the decision would help ensure viable security in the militancy-plagued country.

He also said that France would do its best to get more international community's support at Paris Conference next June for the reconstruction and stabilizing security of Afghanistan.

More than 1,500 French troops, which will be increased to 3000,have been serving in Afghanistan within the framework of NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the U.S.-led Coalition forces, fighting Taliban and associated militants in the war-wracked nation.

Earlier, both foreign ministers called on President Hamid Karzai and exchanged views on matters including security situation in Afghanistan, international community's support and the coming Paris Conference held on June 12.

Afghan Foreign Ministry Rangin Dadfar Spanta in his speech described both Canada and France as two important nations in the rebuilding of Afghanistan and thanked their contribution for the war on terror and building process of Afghanistan.

Source: Xinhua

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