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France To Decide On Troop Pullout After Karzai Visit

A French soldier stands guard as Defense Minister Gerard Longuet pays his respects in front of the coffins of the four French soldiers killed in Afghanistan during a ceremony at Kabul airport on January 21.
Foreign Minister Alain Juppe says France will wait until the visit to Paris of Afghan President Hamid Karzai on January 27 to decide whether to speed up the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan.

President Nicolas Sarkozy last week suspended all French ground operations in Afghanistan and threatened to pull out troops ahead of a 2014 withdrawal deadline, after four French troops were killed by an Afghan soldier last week.

The Taliban has said it recruited an Afghan National Army soldier to carry out the January 20 attack at a base in eastern Afghanistan, which also left 15 soldiers injured.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on January 24 that it was too early to conclude the Taliban was involved in the attack.

compiled from agency reports