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French Defense Minister Says First NATO Troops Could Leave Afghanistan Next Year

French Defense Minister Herve Morin

French Defense Minister Herve Morin

France's defense minister says that NATO countries could begin to withdraw some of their forces from Afghanistan at the start of next year as security responsibilities for some districts are handed over to Afghan forces.

Herve Morin said in an interview on France's RTL radio network that "in 2011 we're going to transfer a whole series of districts to the Afghans" and "at that moment, there could be the first movements, or first withdrawals of Allied forces from Afghanistan."

He added that this is also "the calendar set by Barack Obama, that in 2011 the first American troops could quit Afghanistan."

compiled from agency reports