PARIS, July 15 (Xinhua) -- French Defense Minister Herve Morin said Thursday that he hoped Afghan authorities could take over the responsibility to secure their own country in 2011.
In an interview with local television LCI, Morin said he expected "at least" to start guard mission take-over to local security force in the course of 2011.
If not a total transfer, he suggested a potential take-over in Surobi, eastern of Afghanistan, "where is calm and stable and the development is taking place."
The improvement and fruits resulted from French army's years of effort in the war zone would be in doubt, if nothing changes in 2011, the minister added.
According to a survey by pollster Ifop ealier this week, only 29 percent of French people favored French military presence in Afghanistan, while 70 percent said they preferred a French withdrawal from the zone.
France now has 3,500 troops deployed in Afghanistan, and so far recorded a toll of 45 French soldiers since U.S.-led allies force intruded the country.