Spain says all its troops to leave Afghanistan by 2014

June 24, 2011 17:52


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MADRID - Spain will withdraw 10 percent of the 1,500 troops it has in Afghanistan in the first half of next year, with a complete drawdown to be completed by 2014, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said on Friday.

The announcement came a day after US President Barack Obama presented a timetable for withdrawing forces from Afghanistan, calling for a third of US forces to leave by the end of next summer.

Zapatero said 40 percent of Spanish troops would return home by the first half of 2013. He was speaking in Brussels after a summit of European Union leaders, in remarks carried live on Spanish television.

The timetable presented by Zapatero accelerated current withdrawal plans by a few months, according to El Pais newspaper.

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