Afghan withdrawal speeded up

David Cameron has announce that 3,800 troops are to be pulled out of Afghanistan by the end of next year - almost having the size of the British presence there - in a speeding up of the withdrawal.

Latest ITV News reports

Downing St: NATO strategy to withdraw troops 'on track'

During an hour-long conversation Downing Street says David Cameron also discussed Syria, Iran and the Middle East Peace Process with President Obama:

On Afghanistan, they discussed progress on the plan to hand security responsibility from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to the Afghan National Security Forces, and agreed that the NATO strategy to withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 was on track.

This would present further opportunities for ISAF countries to bring troops home next year and they agreed to stay in close touch as detailed plans develop.

They also agreed on joint work to strengthen the political process, particularly supporting Afghanistan and her neighbours to work together for stability, building on the trilateral discussions with Pakistan led by the UK.

– DOWNING STREET STATEMENT

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UK's withdrawal from Afghanistan 'may accelerate'

ITV News understands that Britain's withdrawal from Afghanistan may be speeded up with troop numbers almost halved in the next year.

British soldiers cover themselves from dust as a helicopter lands at the Malgeer village in Helmand province
British soldiers cover themselves from dust as a helicopter lands at the Malgeer village in Helmand province Credit: Reuters

During a video call, the Prime Minister and US President Barack Obama agreed the plan for all combat troops to leave by the end of 2014 was "on track". It could mean more opportunities emerge for service personnel to be brought home over the next 12 months.

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