AFGHANISTAN'S KARZAI MEETS SARKOZY AMID THREATS TO PULL OUT TROOPS
- Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Friday, January 27 a week after the French leader threatened to pull his troops out of Afghanistan, AFP reported.
Sarkozy made the threat to withdraw French forces ahead of the 2014 deadline for a pullout of all US-led combat troops after an Afghan soldier shot and killed four French soldiers in an attack that left 15 other troops wounded.
But Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said later that France would not give in to "panic" and "must not confuse an orderly withdrawal with a rushed withdrawal".
Karzai is on a five-day European trip to sign long-term strategic partnership agreements aimed at bolstering support for Afghanistan's reconstruction and development.
In Paris, Sarkozy was expected to outline to his Afghan counterpart his plans to bring home the 3,600 French soldiers currently deployed in Afghanistan.
Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande, who is tipped to beat Sarkozy in elections in three months, pledged Thursday to withdraw French troops from Afghanistan this year if he becomes president.
Most French - 84 percent of them - also want the troops back home by the end of 2012, according to a CSA opinion poll published this week.
NATO's chief called on allies Thursday to remain committed to the security transition in Afghanistan after France's pullout threat. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he understood French concerns after the Afghan soldier killed the unarmed troops last Friday, but noted that NATO nations agreed on a 2014 date to withdraw combat forces and transfer security to Afghans.
- 2U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday, Jan 26, said the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the U.S. "opens a door that is a very dangerous one to go through." This is the same Hillary ...
- 1899 Birth of philologist, academician, and noted scholar Ararat Ghareebyan in Aygezart, Ararat Province.
- 1923 The First Prize for the creation the Coat of Arms of the Transcaucasian Confederacy is awarded to Martiros Saryan and Hakob Kojoyan.
- 1924 Meeting of workers on Lenin Square in Yerevan on the laying of the foundation to Lenin's statue.
- 1939 Birth of composer Tigran Mansooryan in Beirut (Lebanon).
- 1973 In Santa Barbara (California) Goorgen Yanikyan, an engineer and industrialist, killed two Turkish diplomats to focus public attention on the denial of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government.