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AP: Karzai ‘Welcomes’ Afghan Troop Withdrawal

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Afghan President Hamid Karzi onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in 2008. US Navy Photo

Afghan President Hamid Karzi onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in 2008. US Navy Photo

Hamid Karzai welcomes the withdrawal of 34,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan in the next year, the Afghan president said in a statement released Wednesday.

“Afghanistan welcomes the announcement by President Obama,” reported The Associated Press. “This is something Afghanistan has wanted for so long now. The withdrawal in spring of foreign forces from Afghan villages will definitely help in ensuring peace and full security in Afghanistan.”

Karzai’s statements follow President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. During the address Obama said the U.S. would pull about half of its 66,000 troops out the country within the next year.

Despite Karzai’s statements there are still concerns that Afghanistan’s 352,000 troops and police will be unable to fill the void left by American troops by the final withdrawal date in 2014, the AP reported.