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Spain Says All Its Troops To Leave Afghanistan By 2014


The coffin containing the body of a Spanish soldier in 2007 is carried by comrades to a military plane at the ISAF operations base in Herat, Afghanistan.

The coffin containing the body of a Spanish soldier in 2007 is carried by comrades to a military plane at the ISAF operations base in Herat, Afghanistan.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has said that Spain will withdraw 10 percent of its 1,500 troops in Afghanistan in the first half of next year, with a complete pullout to be completed by 2014.

Zapatero was speaking in Brussels after a summit of European Union leaders, in remarks carried live on Spanish television.

He said 40 percent of Spanish troops will return home in the first six months of 2013.

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

France has also announced that hundreds of its troops will come home from Afghanistan by the end of 2011.

compiled from Reuters reports
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