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Obama, Petraeus meet to discuss Afghan drawdown

WASHINGTON, March 14 (Xinhua) — U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday met with U.S. forces commander in Afghanistan David Petraeus to discuss the war in Afghanistan, and the expected drawdown of U.S. forces there in July, said the White House.

U.S. forces commander in Afghanistan David Petraeus. (Xinhua/Sarosh)

The White House said in a statement that Obama met with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Petraeus and the topics they discussed included “the effectiveness of the military surge, the growth of the Afghan National Security Forces, and (Afghan) President (Hamid) Karzai’s expected March 21 announcement on beginning transition to Afghan security lead.”

They also discussed the plan to begin the reduction of U.S. forces this July, and the path to completing the transition to full Afghan responsibility for security by the end of 2014.

Obama ordered the deployment of 30,000 additional forces to Afghanistan in late 2009. His plan involves setting July 2011 as the beginning of withdrawal.

In the following days, Petraeus is to testify in Congress about the situation on the ground leading to the drawdown.

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