France to resume troop training in Afghanistan but pull out by end of 2013


French soldiers will resume training Afghan troops on Saturday after operations were suspended last week following the killing of four French serviceman by an Afghan solider.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced that Paris will withdraw most of its soldiers from Afghanistan by the end of 2013, a year earlier than the deadline set by NATO, the BBC has reported.

The French president says that US President Barack Obama has been informed of the plans, which will be presented at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in early February, according to the Associated Press.

More from GlobalPost: Afghanistan – France suspends training ops after Afghan soldier shoots dead 4 French troops

Sarkozy made the announcement after a meeting in Paris with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday, and added that French forces’ control of Kapisa province in eastern Afghanistan would be handed over to the Afghan army in March, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Both leaders signed a treaty for development in the long term, and also agreed to request that NATO consider allowing Afghan forces take control over all combat missions during 2013.

France currently has around 3,600 troops in Afghanistan. Training operations in the country were suspended on January 20 after an Afghan soldier opened fire on unarmed French troops, killing four and wounding more than a dozen others. 

Sarkozy said he has been given assurances by Karzai that extra protection measures will be put in place. 

More from GlobalPost: Two French soldiers gunned down in Afghanistan

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