Parliament approves to keep French troops in Afghanistan
On September 22, 2008, the first day of the Parliament’s special session, the National Assembly and the Senate voted, as a result of a long debate, to keep French troops in Afghanistan.
Prime Minister’s speech (in French - part one)
Prime Minister’s speech (in French - part two)
Following the deathly ambush on August 18, 2008, that took the lives of ten French soldiers, members of Parliament came together for a special session to vote, under section 35 of the Constitution, to keep French armed forces in Afghanistan.
The debate at the National Assembly opened with the Prime Minister’s reminder that the "two main objectives" of the mission are as follows:
- "enable Afghans to ensure their own saftey"
- "guarantee the stability of Afghan institutions."
In addition, he affirmed that in order "to bring peace, we must always remember the main objective: to give Afghan people the ability to ensure their own safety, prosperity and sovereignty."
François Fillon stated that at the initiative of the President of the French Republic, France began revamping the international strategy approved at the NATO Summit in Bucarest in April 2008. He also pointed out that "this strategy breaks away from the quantitative and primarily military vision that was followed until now. This is why our country was wholeheartedly involved in the Paris concerence on the reconstruction of Afghanistan on June 12, 2008.
In Paris, 20 billion dollars were raised and a plan was laid out for the next three years.
The Prime Minister announced that "the civil and military coordination was inssuficient. We have requested that this cooperation be placed under the stewardship of the UN, under the authority of a new representative, Norweigan Kai Eide. And this request has been fulfilled. At his initiative, the co-cordinated international aide was redesigned to implement a political direction for reconstruction."