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President Karzai Receives French Defense Minister

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Monday, January 23, 2012
Kabul (BNA) In a meeting with French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet on Sunday, president Karzai once again expressed his condolences over the loss of four French soldiers killed last Friday in Afghanistan. 
President Karzai asked Minister Longuet, who is on a visit to Afghanistan to convey his heartfelt condolences to the French president, the people of France and to the mourning families of the victims and stressed that the shooting reflects in no way the true public perception of the French soldiers, but rather an isolated case by an individual who is in custody and being investigated. 
The president said it was “terrible shock” to see that a similar incident happens twice involving Afghan army soldiers opening fire at French troops. 
The Afghan Defense Ministry has been ordered to thoroughly investigate the incident. 
French defense minister thanked president Karzai for his condolences and sympathies and vowed that his country would continue to assist the people of Afghanistan. 
Another subject central to discussion was the strategic partnership on which the Defense minister Longuet said his country was prepared to soon sign a long-term partnership treaty with Afghanistan, which would pave the ground for further expansion of the bilateral relations and would ensure Franc’s continued engagement in Afghanistan beyond 2014. 
President Karzai thanked France for all its assistance over the past ten years and said, “France is an old and sincere historic friend of the Afghan nation and has remained as such.”

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