Sunday, December 09, 2012

Closing French Combat Mission in Afghanistan

Ceremony For Returning Troops Closes French Combat Mission in Afghanistan
Dec. 08, 2012 - France took a major step toward winding down its activities in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan Dec. 8 with a ceremony for 153 returning combat soldiers — part of President Fran├žois Hollande’s pledge to bring the nation’s fighting troops home by the end of 2013. Though the arrival of a final contingent of combat soldiers in France in the next few days will fully close that chapter, Saturday’s moving commemoration by French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian thanking the nation’s military for the Afghan effort was designed to emphasize that France’s combat role has already drawn to an end.

“It’s with the sentiment of a duty fulfilled that you’re returning to France…(and) being reunited with those you love and have missed so much,” said Le Drian on a tarmac in Cyprus beside a government Airbus waiting to take the soldiers back to Paris. “This was the promise that the President of the Republic made to the French people. It’s a promise fulfilled.” read more>>>


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