Afghanistan withdrawal before 2015, says David Cameron

President Barack Obama with Britain

From Patrick Wintour, the Guardian: David Cameron today gave the first clear indication of the timing for a full withdrawal of British soldiers from Afghanistan, saying that he wanted troops home within five years.

Asked in Canada at the Toronto summit if he wanted UK forces home before the 2015 general election, he said: "I want that to happen, make no mistake about it. We can’t be there for another five years, having been there for nine years already."

The prime minister said: "I want us to roll up our sleeves and get on with delivering what will bring the success we want, which is not a perfect Afghanistan, but some stability in Afghanistan and the ability for the Afghans themselves to run their country so they can come home."

His aides insisted his remarks to Sky News were not designed to signal a change of strategy before his first bilateral meeting with Barack Obama. Cameron added that he preferred not to "deal in too strict timetables."  (photo: Chris Wattie/Reuters)

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