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Report: Sarkozy says no Afghan troop boost

  • Story Highlights
  • French troops will stay in Afghanistan, Sarkozy quoted as telling Le Figaro
  • Sarkozy's office does not immediately respond to CNN request for confirmation
  • Obama, Sarkozy spoke by phone Wednesday, White House says

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PARIS, France (CNN) -- France will not send more troops to Afghanistan, President Nicolas Sarkozy told the country's Le Figaro newspaper Thursday.

But France remains committed to victory in Afghanistan, he said on Thursday.

"Should we stay in Afghanistan? I answer yes. And stay to win," he told the newspaper, which published the story on its Web site before the paper hits the newsstands Friday.

"But France will not send one more soldier. My belief is that more Afghan soldiers are needed. It is them who will be the most efficient to win this war, because it is their country. But they have to be paid more to avoid desertions that would benefit the Taliban," he said.

Sarkozy's office did not immediately respond to a CNN request for confirmation.

France currently has about 3,070 troops in Afghanistan operating as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, according to ISAF.

In the United States, the Obama administration is weighing a call for as many as 40,000 additional troops in Afghanistan from Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in that country.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday the United Kingdom would boost levels from 9,000 to 9,500 -- provided other countries were prepared to boost levels too.

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to Sarkozy by phone Wednesday, the White House said, but did not mention Afghanistan among the issues they discussed.

CNN's Jen Carswell and Pierre Meilhan contributed to this report.

All About FranceNicolas SarkozyWar and Conflict

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