France to continue helping NATO mission, hopes US
KABUL (PAN): Despite its new president’s campaign pledge to withdraw French troops from Afghainstan this year, France would continue to contribute to the NATO mission in Afghanistan, the United States said on Thursday.
Scheduled to pay his maident visit to the White House on Friday ahead of the G-8 summit, President Francois Hollande plans to announce a pullout of combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of the current year.
“We would look to allies to make their national decisions in the context of the overall NATO approach (to Afghanistan),” President Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told reporters.
Explaining that NATO’s combat mission would not end in Afghanistan until 2014, he said: “You can make all kinds of contributions. You can make combat troop contributions, you can make training contributions.”
Despite their national decisions s about the pace or timing of troop withdrawals, the alliance members would follow the NATO policy of “all in together and all out together”, Donilon remarked.
“France is a member of the alliance, a member of the International Security Assistance Force an ally of the US, so I think it’s fully appropriate for us to have a discussion about this,” he said, hoping Obama and Hollande would have a good relationship.
"We'll have to work through other issues … the stance that President Hollande took during his campaign obviously he intends to keep as president. But I, at this point, frankly see a good relationship building."
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