Afghan President Hamid Karzai has welcomed the announcement that British troops would leave Afghanistan next year.
A statement by Karzai's office on December 20 says that the president has called the decision "well-timed" and said that "the Afghan national forces are ready to provide security and defend their country."
On December 19, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that next year, Britain will withdraw half of its 9,000 troops currently serving in Afghanistan.
Cameron said that the withdrawal of 3,800 British troops before the end of next year is possible "because of the success of our forces and the Afghan National Security Forces."
Some 438 British soldiers have died in Afghanistan since the troops were first deployed in late 2001.
Based on reporting by AP and AFP