France announces troop withdrawal from Afghanistan

11:02, June 24, 2011      

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President Nicolas Sarkozy's office on Thursday announced a progressive withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan.

The withdrawal of France's approximately 4,000 troops will follow a timetable comparable to that of the staggered pullout of American troops, starting this summer, Sarkozy's office said in a statement.

"Given the recorded progress (France) will commit a gradual withdrawal of additional troops sent to Afghanistan in a proportional way and follow the same timetable as the one of the U.S. forces withdrawal," it said.

The announcement came hours after U.S. President Barack Obama announced Wednesday night that Washington would withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by end of this year and 23,000 more by next summer.

Obama called Sarkozy to discuss "their common engagement in Afghanistan" before making his address, according to the statement.

"France shares the American analysis and objectives and is pleased with President Obama's decision," the statement said.

France "remains fully engaged with its allies alongside the Afghan people to see the transition process through," the statement added.

Sixty-two French soldiers have died in the war-stricken country since the end of 2001.

Source: Xinhua
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