French Afghan troop offer to allow Canada extension

Wed Apr 2, 2008 5:11pm EDT
 
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BUCHAREST (Reuters) - France has offered to send a battalion of troops to Afghanistan in a move that will allow Canada to retain its 2,500 troops in the south of Afghanistan, a NATO spokesman said on Wednesday.

"They (the French) have made that offer for the east," the spokesman said after NATO leaders met for a summit, adding that this would allow U.S. troops stationed there to reinforce the Canadians in the south.

"That will allow (Canada) to extend its mission to 2011," he added. French military sources say a battalion is between 800-1,000 soldiers.

(reporting by Mark John; writing by Paul Taylor)