Paris, December 2 2009
The President of the Republic welcomes the U.S. President’s speech on Afghanistan.
It was a courageous, determined, clear-sighted speech that provides a new impetus for international commitment and opens new prospects for the future.
The President of the Republic gives it his full support and calls on all countries that want to help the Afghan people to adhere to it.
Our objective is for the Afghans to live in a peaceful, sovereign country. Afghanistan’s stability, and that of Pakistan, are essential to world peace and to our own security. France will not give free rein to terrorism and to the barbarous violence of fanatics.
That is why France, together with its Allies, will remain strongly committed to standing alongside the Afghan people as long as necessary.
Finally, together with our Allies, we will continue providing Afghanistan and its people with the necessary military and civilian support. France has strongly increased its civilian and military commitment over the past two years. With nearly 4,000 personnel, soldiers, gendarmes, police officers and stepped-up civilian aid, France’s main missions are to stabilize the Kapisa-Surobi province in two years and to train Afghan security forces.
We are also going to provide enhanced support to neighboring Pakistan in its fight against the forces of destabilization that threaten the entire region.
At the request of the President of the Republic, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Gordon Brown, an international conference on Afghanistan will be held on January 28, 2010, under the auspices of the UN.
France expects it to result in clear commitments by the Afghan authorities in response to the exceptional commitment demonstrated by the international community: with respect to governance, economic and social development, and the fight against drug trafficking. It also expects this conference to provide specific orientations for “Afghanization” in the most stable areas. It urges reintegrating into society those insurgents who recognize Afghan institutions and renounce violence.
The next meeting of NATO ministers this week and the London conference in late January will underscore the international community’s unity with respect to these objectives. It is in this renewed framework that France will examine its contribution to the international strategy, giving priority to the training of Afghan security forces.