Situation In Afghanistan 'Improving,' France Says
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French soldiers on patrol in Kabul (AFP)
DUSHANBE, July 31, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- France's Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, who is on a visit to Tajikistan, today said that the overall security situation in neighboring Afghanistan is improving, although she voiced concerns about the situation in Kabul and the south of the country.
Alliot-Marie said the former Taliban ruling militia had changed their tactics in recent months, using more sophisticated weapons and entering Afghanistan from neighboring Pakistan "in greater numbers".
France has been using a Tajik air base for operations in Afghanistan since 2001. France currently has an estimated 400- strong military contingent in Tajikistan.