KABUL, May 28 (Xinhua) -- Afghan government on Wednesday welcomed U.S. president's plan to keep about 9,800 troops after 2014 in Afghanistan but virtually withdrawing all by the end of 2016.
"The United States government announced that, within a schedule, it will reduce to zero the number of its combat troops in Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan welcomes this decision by the United States," said a statement issued by Presidential Palace.
"When the government of Afghanistan first launched the security transition from foreign to Afghan forces, the intent was that the security and protection for Afghanistan be provided by its own forces. The process went ahead as planned and yielded the result," it said.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday announced a plan for keeping 9,800 troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014, but virtually withdrawing all by the end of 2016 and thus brings to end the America's longest war.
More than 52,000 NATO-ISAF forces with some 33,000 of them Americans are presently stationed in Afghanistan.
"As President Barack Obama made the announcement on the reduction and eventual end to the US military presence in Afghanistan, President (Hamid) Karzai calls on government's armed opponents to avail of this historic opportunity made possible by the hard efforts of the Afghan government and to put an end to the war that is waged under the excuse of fighting foreign troops presence, and join hands in moving this beloved country forward to peace, prosperity and progress," it reads.