Paris opens door to Afghans working with French troops
By Mirwais Adeel - 26 Dec 2012, 8:08 pm
Defense officials also added Paris will take in a “few dozen” Afghans who have worked alongside French troops in the war-ravaged country for 11 years and whose security is at risk at home.
No further details were given by French defense ministry regarding the exact number of Afghans to be taken to Paris however they said that the bulk comprised people who had worked as translators on the ground.
The last batch of the French combat troops left Afghanistan on December 15 this year. The withdrawal of the French troops takes two years before before allied nations in the 100,000-strong NATO mission led by the United States are due to recall their fighting forces.
France deployed around 4,000 troops under the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan, and was the fifth largest NATO troops contributor following United States, Britain, Germany and Italy.
Around 170 Afghans would be “allowed to enter French territory from January to start a new life”, Le Monde the French newspaper reported.
The source further added the criteria for choosing them would be two-fold — whether they faced a security threat after the pullout of NATO-led foreign troops and their ability to integrate into mainstream French society.