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Taliban welcome complete U.S. withdrawal

Published By United Press International
KABUL, Afghanistan, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The Taliban said Friday they welcome news from the United States that all American troops might be withdrawn from Afghanistan in 2014.

"We appreciate this step of the American public and all those societies who [pressure] their government on the issue of Afghanistan ... to bring this aimless war to an end and to evacuate all their troops," a statement from the Taliban read.

U.S. military officers, whose names were not reported, said suggestions of a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan are primarily a negotiation tactic with Kabul that is related to a security agreement.

NATO has announced it will withdraw troops by the end of 2014, though the United States could leave 6,000 to 20,000 military personnel to train, advise and assist the Afghan army and police, Khaama Press reported Friday.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai was in Washington Friday to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss how many American troops will remain in Afghanistan and other issues.
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