U.S. not to ask France for more troops in Afghanistan: White House

08:28, March 31, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama will not push his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy to commit more troops to Afghanistan, the White House said on Tuesday.

"No, there is no ask on the table to do that. No," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs at a press briefing ahead of the two leaders' talks later in the day.

"I anticipate that they will discuss progress that needs to be made in training Afghan national army.." said Gibbs, "But there' s no specific ask on the table from President Obama to President Sarkozy to increase that force."

In his Monday speech at Columbia University in New York, Sarkozy said that "we will remain at your side" on Afghanistan issues, voicing his support for Obama.

But Sarkozy, whose popularity in France has hit record lows as the economy struggles, would be subject to more political risks if he makes more commitments to the war-torn country.

France, with over 3,000 troops in Afghanistan, has the fourth largest military presence in the country, following the U.S., Britain and Germany.

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