Code 56031
PublishDate: Monday, January 14, 2013 14:36

Afghanistan to be safer once foreign troops leave

Afghan President Hamid said that his country will be "more

Afghan President Hamid Karzai told a press briefing on Monday that his country will be "more secure" once most foreign troops leave by the end of 2014.

When asked if security would deteriorate after the withdrawal of the NATO-led force, Karzai replied: "By no means... Afghanistan will be more secure and a better place".

President Hamid Karzai begun a four-day US visit on Tuesday as President Barack Obama worked on plans on how fast to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and whether to leave a “residual force” behind after 2014.

Foreign combat soldiers are due to exit Afghanistan by the end of next year, more than a decade after a US-led invasion brought down the Taliban regime in 2001, but the country remains wracked by Islamist violence.

In the meantime president Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai, announced that the American military mission in Afghanistan will shift this spring from a combat to a support role. In effect, US forces will be handing over the baton of security throughout Afghanistan to indigenous troops a few months earlier than expected.

The agreement on the future role of the US and its 66,000 troops still stationed and serving in Afghanistan was announced at the White House on Friday after one in a series of bilateral meetings between Obama and Karzai.(Reuters)


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