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Hollande pledges French support in Afghanistan

Friday - 5/18/2012, 1:09pm  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) - French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND') says he stands by his campaign pledge to withdraw his country's troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year.

But the newly sworn-in leader says France will keep supporting Afghanistan in a "different way." Hollande did not say what that would be.

Hollande spoke at the White House following his first meeting with President Barack Obama. The two leaders held their one-on-one meeting before heading to the G-8 economic summit later Friday.

Hollande campaigned in France on a promise to pull that country's 3,300 troops out of Afghanistan ahead of schedule. But his words following his meeting with Obama indicated a compromise could be likely to shift French troops away from combat roles, but leave some French presence in Afghanistan in another form.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)