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Obama, Petraeus discuss drawdown

Obama, Petraeus discuss drawdown

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On
Mar 15, 2011 - 11:14

WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon): US President Barack Obama has met his top general in Afghanistaninfo-icon, Gen. David Petraeus, at the White House to discuss the drawdown of US troops, expected to start this July.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates also joined the meeting, in which they also discussed the effectiveness of the military surge ordered by Obama in December 2009, and the growth of the Afghan National Security Forces, the White House said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to make an announcement on March 21 about the beginning of the transition to an Afghan security lead, including which provinces will be handed over first.

Petraeus is in Washington to testify before a key Congress committee on Afghanistan.

Earlier on Monday, Obama met Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen. The US president said he appreciated the sacrifices Danish troops in Afghanistan have made, and the leadership Denmark showed as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon).

“Denmark is not a large country, but proportional to its population it’s made as significant an effort and made as many sacrifices as anybody in helping to stabilise Afghanistan and now help to effectuate a transition to Afghan leadership.  And Danish soldiers are fighting in some of the toughest areas, without caveat,” Obama said. 

“We have discussed how 2011 is going to be a year of transition, and under Prime Minister Rasmussen’s leadership, he has been able to build a consensus within Denmark about how that transition would proceed that I think is a model for all our allies and participants in Afghanistan,” Obama said.

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