'Nuclear power' Pak will be threatened if France vacates Afghanistan: Sarkozy

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Islamabad, Oct.16 (ANI): French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said that Paris has no intention to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, as such a step could create more trouble for 'nuclear power' Pakistan, but also made it clear that it would not send more soldiers to facilitate the US led 'war on terror' in Afghanistan.

In an interview with a French newspaper, Sarkozy clarified that France would not pull out of Afghanistan, as it is involved in an operation that would ultimately benefit the war ravaged country itself.

"Do we need to stay in Afghanistan? I say yes. And stay to win. Not against Afghanistan, but for Afghanistan," The News quoted Sarkozy, as saying.

"If we leave, it is nuclear power Pakistan that will be threatened. But France will send not a single soldier more," he added.

Sarkozy stressed that there was a need to deploy more Afghan soldiers to counter the Taliban insurgency.

"They will be the most effective in winning this war because it is their country. But we need to pay them more to avoid desertions that benefit the Taliban," he said.

France is the fourth largest contributor to the NATO-led coalition battling the Taliban and training Afghan security forces with 2,900 soldiers in Afghanistan.

While the United States is planning to send more troops to Afghanistan, France has repeatedly rejected sending more soldiers to that country. (ANI)

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