LONDON, March 22 (Xinhua) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected
to inform British Prime Minister Gordon Brown next week of France's plan to send
some 1,000 more troops to Afghanistan, reported the Times on Saturday.
The newspaper quoted a senior British official, who asked not to be named,
as saying that the British Ministry of Defense has made a working assumption
that Sarkozy will announce a deployment of "slightly more than 1,000 troops to
the eastern region" in Afghanistan.
Sarkozy, to start a 3-day state visit to Britain on Wednesday, is expected
to brief the prime minister on the deployment aimed at delivering a significant
fillip to the NATO-led military operation in Afghanistan.
France's presidential office and British and France's ministries of defense
have refused to comment on the report. France's diplomats in London has said
France has yet to make its final decision on the reinforcement.
The formal announcement of the deployment, however, would not be made until
the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania, in early April, according to the report.
Joining the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, France has
already stationed 1,900 troops in Afghanistan, where the Taliban, ousted from
power by a U.S.-led anti-terror war six years ago, has waged a years-long
guerrilla-style fighting against the government forces and the international
The conflicts and Taliban-related violence have claimed around 8,000 lives
in 2007, according to a latest-released UN figure.
Since 2002, at least 13 French soldiers have died in fighting or bomb