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Obama to take ‘concrete steps’ for Afghan withdrawal

world Updated: Mar 17, 2012 22:17 IST

PTI
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The plan of President Barack Obama in Afghanistan includes defeating al-Qaeda, transferring security lead to the Afghan forces and withdrawing American troops from the country, a top US official has said.


“The President’s plan envisions an end to this war, and not just the hope for an end but the concrete measures that need to be taken to withdraw US forces, to transfer security lead over to Afghan forces, to give control of the country to Afghan forces so that our men and women can come home,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said after Obama had a telephonic talk with his Afghan counterpart, Hamid Karzai.

“The two men very much share the goal of Afghanistan being able to be responsible for its own security, for Afghan forces to be able to do that and have the capacity to do that, and for mission to be successful, which is to further erode and ultimately defeat al-Qaeda and allow Afghanistan to be stable enough so that it will not become a haven for al-Qaeda in the future,” Carney said.

Obama and Karzai discussed the latter’s concern about US forces in Afghan villages.

Within the context of a discussion about the transition that is already underway and is taking place that will result in US forces turning over to Afghan forces greater and greater responsibility to the point where they have the combat lead by 2013 and full lead by 2014, the two leaders were very much on the same page, he added.

However, he insisted the pace and scope of it would depend on ground realities.