British Prime Minister David Cameron is to urge new French President Francois Hollande to reconsider his policy of withdrawing all French troops from Afghanistan by the end of this year, it has been reported.
Hollande and Cameron will be in the United States for the G8 summit at Camp David on May 18-19, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Chicago on May 20-21.
The socialist French president has pledged to withdraw all of France's 3,308 troops by the end of 2012, a year earlier than predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy had proposed. The move is set to be announced at the NATO summit.
Sarkozy's 2013 withdrawal date was set earlier this year following the murder of four French troops by a rogue Afghan soldier in January. Before then, France had been due to adopt the same withdrawal timetable as other NATO partners, with combat operations ending altogether by the end of 2014.
Cameron is set to discuss European politics with Hollande, Italian PM Mario Monti and German Chancellor Angela Merkel today before meeting Hollande at the British ambassador's residence in Washington on May 18. A report in The Guardian
claimed that the prime minister will use the May 18 meeting to urge a re-think of the announcement on France's withdrawal policy.
US President Barack Obama is also said to wish to discuss France's withdrawal plans with Hollande.This article was first published by PublicServiceEurope.com's sister website defencemanagement.com PM to urge France to reconsider Afghan withdrawal