French President Francois Hollande has arrived in Afghanistan for a surprise trip to visit French troops and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Mr Hollande is accelerating the withdrawal of the roughly 3,400 French troops still stationed in Afghanistan to the end of this year, two years ahead of the NATO timetable.

His office said he would pledge to keep to a long-term co-operation treaty signed with Afghanistan earlier this year.

Mr Hollande's new withdrawal timetable is at odds with NATO partners adhering to a plan to hand over command of all combat missions to Afghan forces by the middle of 2013 and withdraw most of the 130,000 foreign troops there by the end of 2014.

Some 2,000 troops are due to leave this year but some will remain to provide support and training, and to look after equipment.

France has 14 helicopters, 900 vehicles and 1,400 containers that need to be taken out via road and plane.

France has been asked to contribute just under $200m (€159m) a year for long-term funding for Afghanistan, part of an annual bill estimated at $4.1bn (€3.2bn) to maintain Afghan forces after 2014.

Mr Hollande has signalled that he will commit to nothing until it is clear how the money will be managed.

Mr Hollande, who defeated Nicolas Sarkozy in a 6 May election run-off, was accompanied on his trip by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Since his inauguration last week, he has made official trips to Berlin and Washington, and attended G8 and NATO summits in the US and a European Union leaders' summit in Brussels.