France's Hollande in surprise visit to Afghanistan

May 25, 2012 08:24


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PARIS - French President Francois Hollande arrived in Afghanistan on Friday for a surprise trip to visit France's troops there and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Hollande's office said.

Hollande, who plans to accelerate the withdrawal of French soldiers from Afghanistan to the end of this year, was accompanied by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Hollande - making the latest in a whirl of foreign trips since his May 15 inauguration that have taken him to Berlin, Washington, Chicago and Brussels - will pledge to keep to a long-term cooperation treaty signed with Afghanistan, where France has around 3,400 troops posted, his office said.

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