(NSI News Source Info) DAVOS, Switzerland - January 30, 2009: French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner ruled out on Jan. 29 increasing the number of French troops deployed in Afghanistan. Asked about a proposed build-up in U.S. troops in Afghanistan and likely pressure from Washington for contributions from other NATO members, he said there were no plans to increase the French contingent. "We have just increased the number of our soldiers. There is no prospect of sending more troops for the time being, and it has not been asked," he told a panel discussing the country here. France is the fourth-largest contributor to the international military force in Afghanistan with more than 2,600 troops deployed in the region, mainly around Kabul and in forward bases in the east of the country. Paris has also stationed six Mirage 2000 fighter jets outside the southern city of Kandahar to support U.S. and NATO-led troops on the ground.
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