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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.

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