French President Says Afghan Exit to be Coordinated with NATO

Posted May 25th, 2012 at 6:10 am (UTC-5)
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French President Francois Hollande says the imminent withdrawal of his country's troops from Afghanistan will be coordinated closely with Afghanistan and other NATO allies.

Mr. Hollande, on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan, spoke with French troops stationed at a military base in in the Nijrab district of eastern Kapisa province.

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

The newly elected French leader is scheduled to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai to discuss France's early pull-out from the war-torn country.

Mr. Hollande has said that he plans to withdraw French troops by the end of the year, instead of next year as his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy had planned.

France has 3,300 troops in Afghanistan.

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

Meanwhile, bomb blasts in three Afghan provinces Friday killed three people and wounded nine.