French President Nicolas Sarkozy was in London Wednesday to declare his readiness to send additional troops to Afghanistan. The move, seen by some as an effort to strengthen ties with his chums across the Channel, was well received by British lawmakers who believe an increase of NATO occupation forces would best prevent a Taliban resurgence.
In a speech to a joint session of both houses of parliament that was greeted by a standing ovation, the French president said “we could not accept the return of the Taliban and al-Qaida to Kabul”.
France has 1,900 troops in Afghanistan, but contributing countries are quarrelling over the troubled Nato mission
Sarkozy said France had put forward a comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan that had been well received by Nato allies.
“France will therefore propose at the Bucharest summit to strengthen her military presence. We cannot accept the return of the Taliban and al-Qaida in Kabul,” Sarkozy said to applause.