Canada's defense minister says France is considering sending troops to reinforce NATO units in southern Afghanistan

Peter MacKay told reporters France has been receptive to Canada's appeal for help and discussions about logistics are underway in Paris. He spoke as NATO defense ministers were winding up a two-day meeting in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius.

Canada says it is not receiving adequate support for its strong presence in more volatile southern Afghanistan. It has threatened to pull its troops from the country next year unless its NATO allies send reinforcements.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that some NATO allies are considering what action they might take, but gave no details. He attributed European resistance to greater deployments to what he called confusion between the U.S. missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said his speech Sunday to a security conference in Munich will be an effort to explain to Europeans the importance of NATO achieving success in Afghanistan.

Gates has been pressuring NATO members to send more troops to assist Canadian, Dutch, British and U.S. forces doing the bulk of fighting.