French troops to be out of Afghanistan by 2013
Updated: 2011-07-14 20:20
PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared Thursday that French troops would complete withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of 2013.
Following the traditional ceremony marking the celebration of France's National Day , Sarkozy, together with Prime Minister Francois Fillon, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, Defense Minister Gerard Longuet and the French General Staff Edouard Guillaud will hold a security meeting on the safety of French troop deployed overseas.
France's National Day this year was overshadowed by the deaths of five French soldiers killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan the day before.
Sarkozy visited the Percy military hospital in the morning to meet with soldiers injured in Afghanistan.
"We are now faced with more actions of terrorist type, not just military action ... it is a new situation and facing this new situation, it needs new safety measures," Sarkozy said.
According to the French president, who is geared for the next presidential election in 2012, French army needs to be prepared to "new conditions" from now to its departure from Afghanistan.
Early this week, France has announced a schedule that a quarter of its 4000 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan would pull out by the end of 2012.
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