Afghan President Hamid Karzai is in Britain for talks with Prime Minister David Cameron, a day after France announced it would withdraw its troops a year earlier than the 2014 date agreed by NATO.

Cameron is due to meet Karzai at Chequers, the prime minister's country retreat outside London. Britain's Foreign Office said the meeting "is about long-term partnership and commitment beyond 2014 and the need for progress on the political track."

It is also sure to include the effects of the announcement by President Nicolas Sarkozy that French troops would speed up their withdrawal plans and leave the country by the end of next year, instead of by 2014.

Britain has about 9,500 troops in Afghanistan and says it plans to withdraw almost all of them by the end of 2014.