Sarkozy pledges French troops to Afghanistan; new cooperation with UK

March 26, 2008 17:42


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French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in London Wednesday for a two-day state visit at which he hoped to create a "new Franco-British brotherhood" to face such issues as nuclear energy, defense, immigration, and the downturn in the global economy. The French president was making the first state visit to Britain by a French president in 12 years. During the 36-hour trip he will seek to demonstrate that, under his leadership, France is putting aside differences over the 2003 Iraq war and revitalizing relations with both the UK and the United States. In an interview broadcast Wednesday, Sarkozy said France is committed to NATO's action in Afghanistan and indicated he is willing to send more troops to the country if France's allies are also ready to stay, give Afghans more responsibility and better coordinate nonmilitary efforts. "Can we afford to lose in Afghanistan?" Sarkozy told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. "Of course not. In Afghanistan, what is at stake is part of our battle against world terrorism."

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