By Gregory Viscusi
Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe
telephone yesterday evening about France’s threatened early
withdrawal from Afghanistan, the French foreign ministry said in
an e-mailed statement.
President Nicolas Sarkozy suspended operations with the
Afghan army and said France may withdraw its troops from the
country after an Afghan soldier killed four of its military
personnel, the second time in a month an Afghan soldier has
killed French troops.
Defense Minister Gerard Longuet and Admiral Edouard
Guillard, chief of staff, are in Afghanistan
to assess the
situation, and Sarkozy said in a speech Jan. 20 that he’ll
decide on the future of France’s 3,900 troops in the country
based on their report. Sarkozy meets Afghan President Hamid
Karzai Jan. 27 in Paris.
“The President of the Republic will draw all the
consequences of the attack against our forces,” the foreign
ministry said in the statement. Clinton offered her condolences
for the deaths, which bring to 82 the number of French military
personnel killed in Afghanistan.
Longuet told reporters in Afghanistan that the Afghan
soldier who killed the French troops was a Taliban infiltrator.
Karzai today told Longuet that the the shooting “was an
isolated case by an individual who is in custody and being
investigated,” according to a statement from Karzai’s office.
For Related News and Information:
Stories on the Afghan conflict: STNI AFGHANFIGHT
Stories on Security in Afghanistan: NSE AFGHAN SECURITY
News on Afghanistan and NATO: TNI AFGHAN NATO
--With assistance from Eltaf Najafizada in Kabul. Editors:
Francis Harris, Chad Thomas
To contact the reporter on this story:
Gregory Viscusi in Paris at +33-1-5365-5068 or
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
James Hertling at +33-1-5365-5075 or