Kabul welcomes US troop withdrawal plan

2013-02-13 12:01
US soliders on patrol in Afghanistan. (File, AFP)

US soliders on patrol in Afghanistan. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kabul - The Afghan government on Wednesday welcomed President Barack Obama's announcement that the United States will withdraw 34 000 troops from the war-torn country over the next year.

"We welcome this," defence ministry spokesperson General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said. "We will take all security responsibilities by the end of 2013.

"Our troops will replace them."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has long supported the scheduled withdrawal of US and Nato combat troops by the end of 2014, saying Afghan forces are capable of taking responsibility for the fight against Taliban insurgents.

Obama, who made the troop withdrawal announcement during his State of the Union address, said the drawdown would continue and "by the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over".

The Taliban dismissed the troop pull-out as insufficient.

"The problem is not going to be solved with reducing or increasing the number of troops," Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said.

"As long as the invading forces remain in Afghanistan, the jihad [holy war] continues. The problem is solved with the complete withdrawal of the invading forces and returning Afghanistan back to Afghans."

Obama's move effectively halves the size of the current 66 000-strong US force in Afghanistan, as Nato troops prepare to hand over control for security operations to about 352 000 Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.

Nato, which has about 37 000 troops in Afghanistan, will also withdraw them in stages before the end of 2014.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  afghanistan

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Prince George the green prince?
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

There is a tendency to get too caught up in group dynamics and high expectations and ideals, that your own personal needs and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.