Sunday, 29 November 2009

January Conference To Decide Afghanistan Exit

Gordon Brown will host an international conference on January 28, 2010 to decide a timetable for the withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan. Afghan President Hamid Karzai will be asked to commit to boosting his country's army, police and local governance, the Prime Minister announced at the Commonwealth summit in Trinidad and Tobago.

Mr Karzai will be required to:

:: Provide 50,000 troops for training over the next year;

:: Improve the capacity of the police force;

Recruit governors at regional and district level who are free from corruption and can deliver services to the Afghan people.

Mr Brown said the milestones would create the conditions for control of Afghanistan to be handed over, district by district, to homegrown authorities and for UK troops to come home.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will attend the London conference, along with Mr Karzai and representatives of many of the 43 nations who are involved in the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Mr Brown said he was also hopeful that an additional 5,000 troops for Afghanistan would be offered by other Nato countries by the time of the London conference, though he declined to say which states might put forward forces.

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