On a flying, unannounced visit to Afghanistan, French president Nicolas Sarkozy told troops near Kabul that a quarter of all French soldiers in the country would leave by the end of next year. France’s remaining 3,000 soldiers will be based in Kapisa province.
The move comes after the United States and France said in June that they would pull out soldiers faster than expected. French soldiers have been involved in the military operation in Afghanistan since 2001.
The quicker withdrawal could give Sarkozy a boost ahead of next year’s presdiential election in France, where he faces an uphill battle to win a second term.