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French president in Afghanistan to meet with troops

By the CNN Wire Staff
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Defense Minister Gerard Longuet, right, in Le Bourget, France, on June 20.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Defense Minister Gerard Longuet, right, in Le Bourget, France, on June 20.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • France has said it will begin to reduce troop numbers
  • It has about 3,900 troops in Afghanistan
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(CNN) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy was in Afghanistan on Tuesday on a brief visit to meet with French troops, said Elysee spokeswoman Veronique Wache.

France has said will begin to reduce troop numbers, following a "timetable comparable to the withdrawal of the American troops," according to a statement from the president's office last month.

In addition, French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet told France Info radio last month that all French soldiers could be out of Afghanistan by 2013.

France has about 3,900 troops in Afghanistan, according to the NATO mission there.

According to the U.S. timetable, some 33,000 U.S. troops will be withdrawn by September 2012. That will leave just under 70,000 Americans in Afghanistan.

 
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