France to send 1,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan

March 22nd, 2008 - 6:41 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Gordon Brown
London, March 22 (DPA) France plans to send an extra 1,000 soldiers to Afghanistan to shore up the NATO presence in the country, a British news report said Saturday. Ahead of an official visit to Britain next week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy would like to underline his commitment to NATO in the fight against the radical Taliban, The Times quoted senior ministers in Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) as saying.

The MoD said France would send more than 1,000 soldiers to either the troubled south or east of the country.

French diplomats stressed that no decision had been taken yet.

The Times reported that Sarkozy intended to tell Prime Minister Gordon Brown about the plan during his state visit to Britain Thursday.

An official announcement would be made at the upcoming NATO summit in Bucharest at the beginning of April.

France currently has some 1,900 soldiers in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, a report in The Guardian daily said that Sarkozy also planned to discuss Franco-British cooperation on a new generation of nuclear power plants.

By developing new nuclear technology together, the two countries could contribute to reducing climate change, the report said.

France produces some 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, while Britain produces only 20 percent, the report said.

Sarkozy and his wife Carla will be guests of Queen Elizabeth II Wednesday and Thursday.

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