January 28, 2012 - President Hamid Karzai and French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed on Friday a treaty on friendship and partnership between the two countries that outlines the country’s commitment for long haul in several key areas such as education, health, economy and culture.
Talking at a joint press availability with President Karzai following the ceremony to sign the treaty, President Sarkozy said his country would continue with its training mission for the Afghan security forces in Afghanistan.
President Sarkozy added that the treaty recommits his country to continue helping Afghanistan in important areas.
On the transition of security responsibility underway in Afghanistan, President Sarkozy asked President Karzai that the authority for security responsibilities for the province of Kapisa, where French troops are based, be taken over by Afghan forces.
Talking at the same press conference, President Karzai thanked French President for the very warm welcome and hospitality and hailed the treaty that expands the partnership and friendship between the two historic friends.
President Karzai said the treaty reaffirms French commitment in continuing to help Afghanistan and Afghan people.
The President once again expressed on behalf of the people of Afghanistan and of his own the heartfelt condolences and sympathies to French people on the recent loss of four soldiers in Afghanistan and recognized the sacrifices they have made in helping with security and stability in the country.
The President said Afghan people, while sharing the grief with French people, are deeply grateful for the strong support France has given to Afghanistan over the past years.
President Karzai said Afghan security forces were ready to take over the security responsibilities even before 2014 and added Afghan government would transition in March the security authority for the province of Kapisa from French to Afghan forces.
The long term partnership and friendship treaty ensures for a period of two decades of continued French assistance in the areas of security and defense, agriculture and rural development, health, education and higher studies, culture and archaeology, good governance and rule of law, infrastructure development, economy, trade and industry.