Brussels (ANTARA News/AFP) - France President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Friday that "several hundred" French troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan before the end of 2011.

His office had said Thursday that France would carry out a progressive pullback "in a proportional manner and in a timeframe similar to the pullback of the American reinforcements."

The statement came after US President Barack Obama on Wednesday ordered all 33,000 US surge troops home from Afghanistan by next summer and declared the beginning of the end of the war, saying the withdrawal would begin this July.

Four thousand French troops are currently stationed in Afghanistan.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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