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Britain to Withdraw 500 Troops from Afghanistan


Britain says it will withdraw 500 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament Wednesday that he will reduce the size of its force from 9,500 to 9,000.

Cameron says the reduction reflects progress made by the Afghan national security force. He said the decision was not only right for Britain, but also right for Afghanistan.

His announcement comes a day after he returned from a two-day trip to Afghanistan to meet British soldiers and hold talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Last month, U.S. President Barack Obama announced he would withdraw 33,000 of 100,000 American troops over the next 14 months.

Germany said it would soon start to reduce its contingent of 5,000 armed forces by the end of this year.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has also said his country's troops would be withdrawn in roughly the same proportion and on a similar schedule as that of the United States. France has 4,000 troops in Afghanistan.

All international combat troops are set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, transferring security control to local forces.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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