France deeply involved in Afghanistan reconstruction: Jerome Bonnafont

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (ANI): French Ambassador to India Jerome Bonnafont has said that his nation is very much involved in developmental efforts in Afghanistan.

"We are very much involved in order to consolidate peace, democracy and development in Afghanistan and clearly (the) London conference has been amongst those efforts to put together the international community and the Afghan union for that matter, the government of Hamid Karzai, to give a new boost to all those efforts for peace, against terrorism which is unacceptable scourge and for the development of Afghan people," he said on the sidelines of an event here on Sunday.

To a question if France would provide financial assistance to Taliban, Bonnafont said, "We already have programmes to provide civilian aid to Afghanistan and those programmes are being implemented in Afghanistan since couple of years.

There has to be a good combination between the security on top of one hand, the political approach of democracy and national reconciliation on the other hand and development efforts to show to the Afghan people that schools are there, that health facilities are there, that roads are being built and in that respect the work of the Indian government is also very important."

France is the fourth biggest contributor to the Afghan international military mission, after the United States, Britain and Germany, with about 3,750 troops in the region.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced last year the United States would send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan to fight a growing insurgency and diplomats say France has come under pressure to boost its own contingent.

Earlier this week French President Nicolas Sarkozy has there was no question of France withdrawing its troops but made it clear he wanted to see Afghan forces trained and prepared for battle. (ANI)

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