facebook
twitter
search
search

Karzai travels to Europe

Jan. 25, 2012 at 7:15 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai traveled to Europe Wednesday amid assurances from France's foreign minister of no immediate withdrawal of its troops.

During his trip, Karzai would conclude a long-term strategic cooperation agreement with France, Italy and Britain, Khaama Press reported, quoting Afghan officials. Karzai is also scheduled to meet Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow to discuss economic and bilateral cooperation.

Karzai's European visit comes just days after an Afghan soldier opened fire on French soldiers in Afghanistan, killing four of them.

The incident led French President Nicolas Sarkozy to order suspension of all training and combat support operations until completion of a review of security for about 4,000 French troops, who are part of the NATO forces in Afghanistan. There was also concern France might speed up its troop withdrawal program, currently set to be completed by 2014.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, however, said Tuesday there will be no rush to get out of Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"We will not give in to panic," Juppe told Parliament, adding there must not be confusion between "an organized withdrawal and a rushed withdrawal."

However, it was not clear whether France's training and support program would resume soon.

The strategic partnership agreement Karzai would sign with France concerns its long-term plans for development and reconstruction assistance in Afghanistan, the report said.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Russia investigates legality of 1991 recognition of Baltic independence
Islamic State re-captures part of key Kurdish-held border town in Syria
Demand for mobile phones in North Korea means two per household
China's Great Wall is quickly disappearing, report says
Volcanic eruption alerts authorities in Japan