Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the real progress being made in Helmand Province will "allow us to reduce British troops to 5,200 by end of 2013."
Mr Hammond said:
There will not be a cliff edge reduction in troop numbers at the end of 2014. This gradual drawdown in line with ISAF planning.
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The EC President said he welcomed a "more realistic tone" as he left discussions with Theresa May, but said more work had to be done.
Mild and a little bit muggy
The England cricketer will miss Wednesday's One-Day International against the West Indies after he was arrested in Bristol on Monday.