News / Europe

France Outlines Early Afghanistan Pullout

Afghan president Hamid Karzai (R) and French President Francois Hollande attend a news conference in Kabul, May 25, 2012.  Afghan president Hamid Karzai (R) and French President Francois Hollande attend a news conference in Kabul, May 25, 2012.
x
Afghan president Hamid Karzai (R) and French President Francois Hollande attend a news conference in Kabul, May 25, 2012.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai (R) and French President Francois Hollande attend a news conference in Kabul, May 25, 2012.
VOA News
French President Francois Hollande says he plans to pull all of his country's 2,000 combat troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the year, but that France will continue to support the war-torn country.

During an unannounced visit to Afghanistan Friday, Hollande said some 1,300 other troops will remain in the country in a support role. They will be training Afghan security forces and looking after equipment.
The newly-elected French leader said the early withdrawal will be closely coordinated with the Afghan government and NATO allies.

He also said the Afghan army will be ready by year's end to take over French military installations in eastern Kapisa province.
Hollande made his remarks after meeting Friday in Kabul with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.  In a joint news conference, the French president said France would still have a presence in Afghanistan, but a different role than in the past -- focusing instead on the civilian front.

NATO Countries With Most Troops in Afghanistan

  • United States 90,000
  • Britain 9,500
  • Italy 3,816
  • France 3,308
  • Poland 2,475
  • Turkey 1,327
  • Afghan Security Forces on Duty (as of March 2012) 344,108
Earlier in the day, Hollande met with French troops stationed at a military base in the Nijrab district of Kapisa.  He thanked the troops for their service and said any withdrawal would be closely coordinated with NATO allies.
 
During his presidential campaign,  Hollande pledged to pull French troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2013, a year earlier than his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy had planned.

France has some 3,300 troops in Afghanistan.  Eighty-three French troops have been killed in the country since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

All foreign combat forces are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Hollande arrived in Kabul Friday accompanied by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Meanwhile, bomb blasts in three southern Afghan provinces Friday killed three people and wounded nine.  Also, a NATO soldier was killed in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan.

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

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid