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No decision on post-2014 troop presence in Afghan: Pentagon

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 13:34

Washington: No final decision has been made on post-2014 US troop presence in Afghanistan and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has not spoken to President Barack Obama on this issue, a Pentagon spokesman said on Wednesday.

"No final decisions have been made," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little, told reporters about the decision on US troop presence in Afghanistan post-2014.

The Department of Defence is in consultations with the White House on enduring presence numbers as well as the so-called glide slope between now and the end of 2014, and those discussions are ongoing, Little said.

Panetta has not spoken with Obama on this particular issue, Little added.

"I don`t believe that the secretary and the president have spoken directly about this issue, but I`m sure that the Secretary hopes to do so soon," he said, adding that no decision has been taken on time line of the withdrawal of rest of the 66,000 US troops stationed in Afghanistan.

"There`s a lot of work being done right now. I wouldn`t suggest in any way, shape or form that we`re not analysing what the potential options might be, and offering those up ultimately to the president. Of course, it`s his decision," Little said.

"When the decision is made, I think we will carry out his decision in a way that is careful and prudent, so I wouldn`t get too worried about time frames," he said.

The United States, he said, has welcomed the decision of Pakistan to train Afghan army and police.

"Any time the Pakistanis and the Afghans together cooperate on training or other activities, that`s beneficial. We`ve been encouraging that kind of cooperation for a long time. It`s no secret that there has been tension in the past between Afghanistan and Pakistan," Little said.

"If there are confidence-building measures like this that can take place, then we would welcome that," he added.


First Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - 13:10

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