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Taliban Accuses French President of Breaking Promise


The Taliban's leadership council has accused French President Nicolas Sarkozy of breaking a campaign promise by pledging this week to send 700 more French troops to Afghanistan.

In a statement Saturday, the Taliban said it freed two kidnapped French nationals based on Mr. Sarkozy's earlier promise to withdraw French troops from Afghanistan.

The statement said other NATO leaders have also made, what it called, "baseless promises" to Afghanistan.

A Taliban spokesman read the statement to media over the phone.

During his campaign last year, Mr. Sarkozy said, if elected, he would consider pulling France's troops out of the NATO-led force in Afghanistan. He said it was useful for France to have sent troops to Afghanistan given the war on terrorism, but that there is little reason for a long-term presence.

Mr. Sarkozy made the pledge to send more troops to Afghanistan during a NATO summit this week in Romania.

France has about 1,100 troops in Afghanistan as part of the 35,000 strong NATO-led operation

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.

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