In this edition of The Interview, France 24 correspondent Matthieu Mabin sits down with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in Kabul for a wide-ranging discussion over France's role in the international coalition in Afghanistan.
Speaking to France 24 correspondent Matthieu Mabin about France's role in Afghanistan, Bernard Kouchner sidestepped several direct questions about tepid public support in France for the Afghan mission. Instead, the French Foreign Minister explained that there were larger issues at stake in Afghanistan beyond just the conflict with the Taliban.
"Should one give up the ground to those who are oppressing women? You'll have a completely different answer. Now, if we are asking should we wage war, of course the (French) population is against war," he said.
Kouchner was in Kabul to attend a major international donors conference on Tuesday which he said came at a critical time for Afghanistan's political development. It is critical for the international community to give its support, he said, as "this is a genuine turning point in the history of our commitment... for this country and for Afghans".
Although change comes slowly in Afghanistan, Kouchner expects 2011 to be an important period for peace to take hold in Afghanistan. Paris remains committed to the Western alliance operating in the country and abandoning the operation is "not an option", Kouchner concluded.