France won't send more combat troops to Afghanistan: Sarkozy
France will not send more combat troops to Afghanistan, although it may send more trainers and civilian helpers, President Sarkozy said.
France will not send more combat troops to Afghanistan, although it may send more trainers and civilian helpers, President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday.
"If there is a need for more people to train, to help the police to undertake civil engineering, to help the population, to help Afghanisation, why not? But combat troops? No," he told TF1 television in an interview.
France is the fourth biggest contributor to the Afghan international military mission, after the United States, Britain and Germany, with about 3,750 troops in the region.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced last year the United States would send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan and diplomats say France has come under pressure to boost its own contingent.
However, Paris has always been reluctant to dispatch more frontline soldiers, and a series of French deaths has made the mission more difficult to sell to a sceptical public.
Sarkozy said on Monday there was no question of France withdrawing its troops but made it clear he wanted to see Afghan forces trained and prepared for battle.
Reuters Last Mod: 26 Ocak 2010, 09:19