France to back Afghanistan in 'different way'
WASHINGTON (PAN): Newly-inaugurated French socialist President Francois Hollande assured his American counterpart Barack Obama that France would continue supporting Afghanistan but in a “different way” -- a commitment that would be revealed in coming days.
At a joint news conference at the White House, Hollande reminded Obama that he would keep his recent election promise made to his nation on Afghanistan -- to withdraw French troops by the end of 2012.
“We will continue to support Afghanistan in a different way, our support will take a different format and all of that will be done in good understanding with our allies within ISAF (International Security Assistance Force).
“And so we will continue and comply with our commitment to that country, and supply and support in a different way,” said Hollande.
“We will discuss that further in Chicago and I am pretty sure I will find the right means so that our allies can continue with their mission and at the same time I can comply with the promise I made to the French people,” he said, referring to the NATO summit in Chicago beginning on Sunday.
This was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders. “We agreed that even as we transition out of a combat phase in Afghanistan, that it's important we sustain our commitment in helping Afghans build security and continue down the path of development,” said Obama.
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