Sarkozy calls for early Nato withdrawal


President Nicolas Sarkozy met the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai, in Paris yesterday and said that France would join in asking Nato to hand over all combat missions in Afghanistan to Afghan troops in 2013 – a year earlier than planned.

Mr Sarkozy has also informed the US President, Barack Obama, of the proposal and will present it at a meeting of Nato defence ministers early next month.

Mr Sarkozy said the French would resume their training mission today – days after four French soldiers were killed – and withdraw its troops by 2013. He also said control of Kapisa province, where most French troops are deployed, would be handed to the Afghans in March.