Document reveals details of UK troops withdrawal

ITN News

by ITN News

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British troops are to pull out of Afghanistan by 2014 according to a secret document mapping out a blueprint for the withdrawal of coalition forces.

The document, seen by The Independent on Sunday, reportedly states the withdrawal of Nato troops is to begin within months, with the Afghan National Security Forces taking control of military operations by the end of 2014.

President Hamid Karzai is to announce a timetable for a "conditions-based and phased transition" at an international conference being held in Kabul next week which will map out the future of the troubled country, according to the leaked communique.

The disclosure comes after Foreign Secretary William Hague hinted at British troops leaving Afghanistan by 2014 but stressed that the Government was not "setting a timetable for what happens over the next few years".

Mr Hague will attend the International Conference on Afghanistan, alongside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and foreign ministers from more than 70 countries.

The Foreign Office confirmed that it was aware of the document but refused to comment.