US to begin transfer of some troops from Afghanistan next July

US to begin transfer of some troops from Afghanistan next July

"We have the right strategy. We are going to break the Taliban's momentum. We are going to build Afghan capacity, so Afghans can take responsibility for their future. We are going to deepen regional cooperation, including with Pakistan," Obama said in a joint media availability with the visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron.

"Over the coming years, Afghans will begin to take the lead in security and, in July of  next year, we will begin to transfer some of our forces out of Afghanistan," Obama said setting aside all speculation over the deadline of draw-down of US troops from Afghanistan beginning July 2011.

Noting that today's historic Kabul conference is another major step forward in this regard, Obama said the Afghan government presented, and its international partners unanimously endorsed, concrete plans to implement Afghan President Hamid Karzai's commitments to improve security, economic growth governance and the delivery of basic services.

"The Afghan government presented its peace and reconciliation plan, which the United States firmly supports. Agreement was reached on a plan in which responsibility for security in Afghan provinces will transition to Afghan security forces.

"In addition, Afghanistan and Pakistan reached a historic agreement to increase economic opportunity for people on both sides of the border," he said.
These are all important achievements, and they go a long way towards helping create the conditions needed for Afghans to assume greater responsibility for their country, Obama said.

Afghanistan, in fact, was one of the major topics of discussion when Obama met Cameroon at the White House Tuesday, the two leaders acknowledged at the joint press availability.

"Today, President Obama and I took stock of progress in this vital year. We reaffirmed our commitment to the overall strategy. A key part of that is training the Afghan National Army and Police so they can provide security for their country and our troops can come home," Cameron said.

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