Afghan govt welcomes US troop reduction timeline

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 21:05

Kabul: Afghan President Hamid Karzai today
welcomed a timeline for the reduction of US forces laid out by
President Barack Obama as an opportunity to build up its
security forces and self-sufficiency.

Afghanistan "hopes that the increase in US troops will
help further protect Afghan people and enhance security in the
country," said a statement released by the presidency.

"Afghanistan believes that setting a timetable for the
reduction of US forces will pave the way for the growth of the
Afghan security forces and the eventual self-reliance we
seek," it added.

"Afghanistan will spare no effort in achieving the
above objectives," it said, adding that it was "pleased to
see" Afghan views on the principle issues facing the war-torn
country had been considered by the United States.

Karzai, who was sworn in last month for another five
years in office after a disastrous election tainted by massive
fraud, is under enormous Western pressure to clamp down on
corruption and promote rule of law.

He has yet to name his cabinet and the jury is still
out on the line-up, despite hopes in the West that it will not
include corrupt warlord allies.

Karzai`s office welcomed the new strategy for
protecting lives, supporting peace and reconciliation and
strengthening Afghan security forces to attain independent
defence capability and self-sufficient state institutions.

PTI




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