France seeks more authorization for Afghanistan forces

Sarkozy seeks an agreement in NATO allies meeting next week on steps to gradually transfer responsibility in Afghanistan to local forces.

France seeks more authorization for Afghanistan forces


French President Nicolas Sarkozy seeks an agreement in NATO allies meeting next week on steps to gradually transfer responsibility in Afghanistan to local forces, along with a reorganisation of international troops.

In his New Year's address to the diplomatic community, Sarkozy said France's 4,000-strong contingent in Afghanistan aimed at bringing stability to its main battleground, the province of Kapisa north of Kabul, over the next two years.

"We need to agree on a concerted approach to progressively transfer responsibility to Afghan authorities in the provinces and districts that are stable," he said.

Sarkozy did not give any details in his speech but announced he wanted to speed up training of the Afghan police and army.

In France, the president needs no extra authorisation from parliament to increase troops, though Sarkozy and ministers have repeatedly said they have enough forces for the task in Kapisa.

Sarkozy did not elaborate on the reorganisation of forces, merely pointing out that the expected appointment of a new civilian representative of NATO, along with United Nations and European Union top representatives, would help coordinate civilian and military efforts.

Reuters

Last Mod: 22 Ocak 2010, 22:21
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