Draft sees 2011 start to Afghan handover
Kabul, January 24, 2010
Afghan forces should begin to take "security primacy" in some provinces by early 2011, according to a draft communique on the future of Afghanistan due to be unveiled at an international conference in London this week.
The draft, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters on Sunday, says Afghanistan and the international community will agree to a "framework" for turning the country's security over to Afghan forces, with the process to begin this year.
It commits to "an agreement that transition will begin in 2010 and that a number of provinces may transition to Afghan security primacy, with ISAF moving to a supporting role within them, by early 2011", referring to the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force.
It emphasises efforts to persuade Taliban fighters to lay down their arms, committing Afghanistan to set up an organisation to "reach out to insurgents", and the international community to pay for the reintegration programme.
International donors will commit to channelling more of their aid through the Afghan government and providing debt relief to Kabul, although precise figures were left blank in the draft.
Afghanistan would also commit to setting up a transparent system for managing its mining and energy sectors, both potentially big money-earners for Afghanistan's aid-reliant economy. - Reuters