Afghanistan London Conference.
(photo credit: AP)
World leaders meeting in
London on Thursday agreed on a timetable for the handover of security
duties in Afghan provinces starting in late 2010.
In their final
communique, the leaders also pledged funds for a plan aimed at
persuading Taliban fighters to renounce violence — but offered no
The meeting backed Afghan President Hamid
Karzai's plan to reintegrate Taliban willing to "cut ties with al-Qaida
and other terrorist groups and pursue their political goals peacefully."
said handover of security responsibilities would begin this year, with
the Afghan National Army "conducting the majority of operations in the
insecure areas of Afghanistan within three years."
was called to help world powers chart a roadmap out of Afghanistan amid
rising US and NATO casualties and falling public support.
70 nations said Karzai had promised to crack down on corruption and said
a summit in Kabul later this year would offer specific plans to bolster
his faltering government.
The text said discussions marked a
"decisive step towards greater Afghan leadership to secure, stabilize
and develop Afghanistan."