Afghan president welcomes Obama's withdrawal announcement
Afghan President Hamid Karzai welcomed the announcement made by the United States to withdraw some of its forces from Afghanistan starting this year, DPA reported.
"I welcome the announcement made by his excellency, the president of America, regarding the withdrawal of 10,000 US forces this year and 30,000 by the middle of next year," Karzai said at a press conference in Kabul.
"This is a significant step for the benefit of both the United States and the people of Afghanistan," the president said. "We support this decision."
He also said the announcement was a step towards "protecting the Afghan soil with the powerful arms of our own youth."
US President Barack Obama announced late Wednesday in Washington that 33,000 US soldiers would be withdrawn from Afghanistan in the next 15 months in a process to begin next month.
About 100,000 US forces along with 40,000 soldiers from other NATO countries are currently engaged in Afghanistan fighting an almost 10-year Taliban insurgency. NATO has said it would hand over security responsibility to Afghan forces by the end of 2014.