News / Asia

Afghan President Says Second Troop Transition to Begin Soon

A policeman looks on as passengers wait to cross the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on foot in the northwest town of Torkham, November 27, 2011.
A policeman looks on as passengers wait to cross the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on foot in the northwest town of Torkham, November 27, 2011.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says his nation's forces will soon take charge of security in more than half of Afghanistan, marking the second step of a transition that will see NATO combat forces leave by 2014.

In a statement issued Sunday, President Karzai said that six provinces, seven cities and dozens of districts, mostly in the country's north and west, will soon pass from foreign to local control. A specific date for the transition was not mentioned.

Among the districts listed in the second round are Nawa, Nad Ali and Marjah in Helmand province, once seen as hotbeds of insurgency but which NATO-led forces say are no longer as volatile. The provinces of Nimroz, Balkh and Takhar also are on the list.

The first stage of the transition began in July, with seven areas handed over, including all of Kabul province.

NATO will hand security over to Afghanistan's army and police in a gradual process due to be completed by the end of 2014, clearing the way for most foreign troops to return home. President Karzai has long pushed for the handover.

The latest announcement comes as NATO confirmed two of its soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan, one by a roadside bomb Sunday, and another in combat operations on Saturday.

Earlier this year, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that 33,000 of 100,000 American troops will leave Afghanistan over the next 14 months. Germany has also said it will soon start to reduce its contingent of 5,000 armed forces by the end of this year. And French President Nicolas Sarkozy says his country's 4,000 troops will be withdrawn in roughly the same proportion and schedule as that of the United States.

Britain has said it will withdraw 500 troops from Afghanistan by the end 2012, reducing the size of its force to 9,000.

In a statement issued later Sunday, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, welcomed the release of the Afghan government’s list of areas intended for the second stage of security transition. Allen said "“Transition is a reality, and it is a path for the future success of this country and the Afghan people."

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

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid