The President of the United States called President Sarkozy yesterday to talk to him about our joint engagement in Afghanistan, before his speech to the American people.
During this conversation, the United States President said that the progress achieved in Afghanistan was enabling the 30,000 troops he had sent as reinforcements to be withdrawn by the end of summer 2012.
The process of transferring responsibility for security to the Afghan authorities will go on until 2014, in accordance with the objectives agreed at the NATO summit in Lisbon in November 2010.
President Sarkozy emphasized that France shares the US’s analysis and objectives and that she welcomes President Obama’s decision. He recalled the successes achieved in the fight against terrorism, particularly Osama Bin Laden’s death.
Following this conversation, President Sarkozy, in consultation with the government, confirmed that France will remain fully engaged with her allies alongside the Afghan people to carry the transition process through to completion.
Given the progress made, she will progressively begin withdrawing reinforcements sent to Afghanistan, proportionately and within a timeframe similar to the withdrawal of the American reinforcements. This withdrawal will take place in consultation with our allies and the Afghan authorities./.