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Drawdown of troops from Afghanistan on track: US

News18

Updated: May 4, 2011, 8:33 AM IST
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Drawdown of troops from Afghanistan on track: US
Barack Obama is very determined to refocus America's attention on that region on al Qaeda.

Washington: The drawdown of troops from Afghanistan is on track but there is no change in the Af-Pak policy of the US in view of the killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, the White House has said.

"I think the (US) President's plan (drawdown of troops from Afghanistan) is on track," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

"You can see the operation that took place on Sunday within the context of this plan that the President put in place for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and within the context of his broader commitment as a candidate and as President to refocus our attention on the AfPak region, which is the home to what they call al Qaeda central, and was until very recently the home to the leader of al Qaeda," Carney said.

President Barack Obama, he said, is very determined to refocus America's attention on that region on al Qaeda.

"And as you recall in the very carefully deliberated upon plan that the President put forward for Afghanistan, that the number one objective was to dismantle and eventually defeat al Qaeda. Getting bin Laden was very much a part of that plan, but it is not the only part," he noted.

"We are continuing the fight against al Qaeda every day. And the focus of that operation, of the US personnel in Afghanistan, is on al Qaeda. The operation continues.

The July 2011 transition date for the beginning of a drawdown remains very much in place. The pace of that drawdown will be determined by conditions on the ground," Carney said.

In December 2009, Obama had announced to start withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan from July 2011.

After the killing of bin Laden in Pakistan on Monday, there was speculation that there might be some change in this plan.

First Published: May 4, 2011, 8:33 AM IST
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