French Afghan pullout in 2012 'not negotiable': Hollande

French President Francois Hollande said Friday that a promised withdrawal of his troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year was "not negotiable."

Hollande was speaking to reporters just hours ahead of the start of G8 summit at Camp David outside Washington and a NATO summit due to take place in Chicago on Sunday and Monday. Both meetings will address the way forward in Afghanistan.

"The withdrawal is not negotiable. The withdrawal of combat forces is France's decision and this decision will be implemented," he said.

"I am aware that France is part of an alliance, that it has been involved in operations for a long time and must therefore make its decisions in harmony with its allies, including our American partners."

He noted that in the northeastern province of Kapisa, Afghan security forces will take over security operations from French troops, "thus allowing the withdrawal to take place."

"Beyond the end of 2012, our residual forces will simply be tasked with logistics to bring home our equipment... but under the protection of NATO forces," said Hollande, adding that he had spoken by telephone with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The French-Afghan treaty signed early this year by Hollande's predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy will be ratified, honoring planned training support for Afghan police and military forces, the French president said.

"Training missions, namely for the Afghan police and army, those missions will also take place under NATO's auspices," he explained.

Hollande, a Socialist who took office just three days ago, met with President Barack Obama at the White House. He reminded the US leader of France's withdrawal plans but added that Paris would provide support in other ways.

The French pledge to withdraw their 3,500 troops from Afghanistan a year ahead of schedule, adds a further complication to NATO's carefully crafted plan to turn over security to Afghans in 2014.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • What can void a new car warranty? James Deakin - Wheel Power
    What can void a new car warranty?

    "I was denied warranty once for changing my horn!" One very annoyed reader wrote. "I was told that placing a backup camera will void my warranty" said another. The others are best left in my private inbox as Yahoo! have a swear jar in the office that I do not feel like donating this week's pay to. Continue reading → …

  • Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources VERA Files - The Inbox
    Docu exposes destruction of PH marine resources

    By Kiersnerr Gerwin Tacadena, VERA Files "Gutom (hunger)," Sen. Loren Legarda said is what’s in store for the Filipino people if destruction of the country's marine resources is not stopped. Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on Environment and Natural … Continue reading → …

  • ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark VERA Files - The Inbox
    ‘Yolanda’ fiberglass boats modern-day Noah’s ark

    By Jane Dasal, VERA Files If you want to save the earth, build a boat. That's what a group of environmentalists is saying, especially if you want to save both the forests and fishermen affected by supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan). “Haiyan … Continue reading → …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options