Page last updated at 20:57 GMT, Saturday, 5 April 2008 21:57 UK

Taleban accuse Sarkozy of U-turn

Nato troops in Afghanistan
Nato has some 47,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan

The Taleban have accused French President Nicolas Sarkozy of reneging on an election promise with his pledge to send more troops to Afghanistan.

The Afghan militant movement said they had freed two French aid workers last year because Mr Sarkozy had pledged to pull French forces out of Afghanistan.

He had said during last year's campaign that the long-term presence of French troops in Afghanistan was not assured.

Earlier this week, France offered 700 more troops for Nato's Afghan mission.

"The Nato-member countries are not only making baseless promises to Afghans but they do so to their respective nations," a Taleban spokesman told AFP.

"A good example is current French President Sarkozy," the spokesman said.

With the blessing of God, the occupiers will be defeated as others have been defeated in the past
Taleban spokesman

"During his electoral campaign, he promised to focus on withdrawing French troops from Afghanistan."

The extra troops raised at this week's Nato summit in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, would not defeat the insurgents, the spokesman said.

"With the blessing of God, the occupiers will be defeated as others have been defeated in the past," he said.

The US says the French pledge will free up some of its troops to move to southern Afghanistan, where Canada had demanded Nato reinforcements be sent.

Nato currently has about 47,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan.

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