News / Europe

France Rules Out Hasty Afghan Withdrawal

French President Nicolas Sarkozy talks to French troops at the 152nd Infantry Regiment military base in Tora in the region of Surobi, Afghanistan, July 12, 2011.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy talks to French troops at the 152nd Infantry Regiment military base in Tora in the region of Surobi, Afghanistan, July 12, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

France has ruled out a hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan after an Afghan soldier shot and killed four French troops last week.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy suspended military operations in Afghanistan and said he was considering an early pullout from the country if security conditions are not clearly established following Friday's attack in eastern Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told parliament that France will not give in to panic and immediately withdraw all French troops from Afghanistan this year. He said calls for a complete withdrawal of troops by the end of of 2012 have not been thought through.

France has about 3,600 soldiers serving in Afghanistan, mainly in the east, with all French combat troops scheduled to leave the country in 2014.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai left Tuesday for a five-day trip to Turkmenistan and Europe. He is expected to travel to France, where his office says he will sign a strategic partnership treaty with President Sarkozy.

On Friday, an Afghan soldier opened fire on unarmed French troops during a training exercise at a base in Kapisa province. The shooting was the latest in a series of incidents in which international troops have been killed by Afghan security forces.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen reiterated the attack was isolated. He told the French newspaper Le Monde Tuesday that he understood France's concerns about security and that the process of recruiting Afghan soldiers must be reexamined.

French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet was quoted as saying the shooter was an insurgent infiltrator. But NATO officials said Tuesday it was too early to tell if the Taliban was behind last week's killing of the four French troops.

Coalition spokesman Brigadier General Carsten Jacobsen told reporters said that past investigations into similar events have found many different reasons for them.

He said "there are no indicators of a systemic issues of infiltration" by the Taliban into the Afghan security forces and that officials look at this "closely every day."

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid