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President Karzai welcomes US withdrawal from Afghanistan

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Kabul, June 23, IRNA -- President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan on Thursday welcomed the decision to withdraw more than 30,000 American troops over the next year, calling it the “right decision for the interest of both countries.”

“The Afghan people’s trust in the Afghan Army and police is growing every day and preservation of this land is the job of Afghans,” President Karzai said in remarks broadcasr live on Kabul TV.

In a nationally televised address Wednesday evening, Obama took care to emphasize what he sees as the successes of the last two years in Afghanistan, saying he was beginning to draw down the number of U.S. troops 'from a position of strength' after an intensive counterinsurgency effort.

'We have put al-Qaeda on a path to defeat,' he said, prominently citing the killing of the terrorist network's leader, Osama bin Laden.

And while he briefly acknowledged the reality that U.S. troops would be fighting in Afghanistan for at least another three years and that 'huge challenges remain,' Obama's emphasis was on a door closing on a decade of war.

'It is time to focus on nation-building here at home,' Obama said. 'These long wars will come to a responsible end.'

Obama also sought to draw a larger lesson from the last 10 years of U.S. warfare in the Middle East and Central Asia, saying the country needs to 'chart a more centered course' between 'an isolation that ignores the very real threats that we face abroad.'

The war has killed at least 1,500 members of the U.S. military and wounded another 12,000 since the war began in late.

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