A statement released by the Presidential Palace “ARG” on Thursday states that the decision was made after months of discussions between the two presidents.
The statement further states that the decision is in accordance with the bilateral security pact and strategic cooperation agreement between the two countries.
The decision insures common interest, stability and development of Afghanistan and war on terror in the region and world, the statement states.
The decision was also welcomed by NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He said that keeping a substantial presence in Afghanistan beyond 2016 paves the way for sustained NATO presence.
“I welcome President Obama’s announcement that the United States will maintain its current troop levels in Afghanistan through 2016 and will retain a substantial presence beyond 2016.”
The original US draw-down plan was to reduce its troop numbers from 9,800 to about 1,000 by the end of 2016, but according to Obama’s announcement on Thursday the troops currently in Afghanistan would stay through most of 2016, and then be reduced to 5,500 troops, stationed in Kabul, Bagram, Jalalabad and Kandahar.