Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets Nicolas Sarkozy later on Friday hoping to convince Paris not to accelerate its troop withdrawal and clinch a partnership agreement for post-2014.

The French president last week suspended all French training and support operations on the ground and sent his defence minister and armed forces chief to Kabul after four of their soldiers were killed by a rogue Afghan soldier.

Paris has 3,600 troops in Afghanistan as part of the 130,000-strong NATO-led force there. French troops mainly patrol Kapisa, a mountainous province near Kabul. One thousand French troops are due to leave by end-2012 and the rest by 2014.

The cooperation treaty to be signed when Karzai meets Sarkozy at 5 p.m. (4:00 p.m. BT) is due to outline Paris' involvement in Afghanistan for five years once foreign troops leave permanently in 2014.

Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday a decision would be made after Karzai's visit on whether to speed up the withdrawal, a move that could prove a boost to Sarkozy ahead of a presidential election.

Socialist rival Francois Hollande, who is comfortably ahead in the polls, has pledged to pull out of Afghanistan by the end of this year if he wins the election held in two rounds in April and May.

In a CSA survey published on Thursday, 84 percent of people said they were in favour of troops leaving Afghanistan by the end of 2012.

France spends about 500 million euros ($668 million) a year on its Afghan operations at a time when Paris is trying to balance its finances.

Juppe ruled out a hasty retreat and most analysts believe it would be difficult technically for Paris to drop out of the NATO-led coalition so quickly, although bringing a departure date forward would prove popular.

According to military analyst Jean-Dominique Merchet, Paris is likely to keep to its existing calendar but review it again in the summer after assessing how the situation evolves.

Announcing a French withdrawal could set off panic among other European countries in Afghanistan and Paris does not want to be responsible for that, he said.

The killings in the Taghab valley of Afghanistan's eastern Kapisa province were the latest in a series of incidents in which Afghan troops have turned on Western allies.

NATO has been rapidly expanding the Afghan security forces so that they will be able to take over all responsibility for security when Western combat forces leave in 2014.

Defence Minister Gerard Longuet submitted a report to Sarkozy earlier in the week outlining what Karzai is planning to do to improve security guarantees for its troops and clarify how Kabul was recruiting its new soldiers.

Among the requests Paris has made is to have French-trained Afghan officers made available to them to shadow local forces and to take over training of new troops.

More than 2,500 foreign soldiers have died in Afghanistan since 2001. The latest killings take the French toll to 82.

The treaty to be signed should outline how many French military advisers stay to continue training Afghan soldiers and police. It will also set out several scientific, cultural, technical and infrastructure accords for various sectors ranging over agriculture, health and transport.

(Reporting By John Irish)