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Karzai Thanks French Defense Minister For Assisting Afghanistan

French Defence Minister Gerard Longuet (center) looks on as Foreign Legion soldiers carry the coffins of slain comrades Mohammed El Garrafi and Damien Zingarelli during a ceremony on the runway of Kabul Airport on December 31.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has met with French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet in Kabul and thanked Paris for the assistance it has given his country.

The French defense chief’s visit to Afghanistan comes after two French Foreign Legion soldiers were shot dead on December 29 by a man wearing an Afghan Army uniform in the eastern Kapisa Province.

Longuet, who arrived in Afghanistan on December 31 to help French forces mark the New Year, hailed the Afghan Army's progress in taking charge of more areas as foreign forces hand over control.

Currently, there are 3,600 French soldiers within the NATO/ISAF framework serving mostly in the province of Kapisa and the Surobi district in Kabul.

with agency reports