Afghanistan conference agrees on exit timetable

Leaders also pledged funds for a plan aimed at persuading Taliban fighters to renounce violence — but offered no specific figures.

Afghanistan London Conference (photo credit: AP)
Afghanistan London Conference
(photo credit: AP)
World leaders meeting inLondon on Thursday agreed on a timetable for the handover of securityduties in Afghan provinces starting in late 2010.
In their finalcommunique, the leaders also pledged funds for a plan aimed atpersuading Taliban fighters to renounce violence — but offered nospecific figures.
The meeting backed Afghan President HamidKarzai's plan to reintegrate Taliban willing to "cut ties with al-Qaidaand other terrorist groups and pursue their political goals peacefully."
Itsaid handover of security responsibilities would begin this year, withthe Afghan National Army "conducting the majority of operations in theinsecure areas of Afghanistan within three years."
The conferencewas called to help world powers chart a roadmap out of Afghanistan amidrising US and NATO casualties and falling public support.
The70 nations said Karzai had promised to crack down on corruption and saida summit in Kabul later this year would offer specific plans to bolsterhis faltering government.
The text said discussions marked a"decisive step towards greater Afghan leadership to secure, stabilizeand develop Afghanistan."