KABUL, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday welcomed his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama's decision over withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, a statement issued by his office said.
"Today we welcome the decision of U.S. president over the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, this decision benefits the United States and Afghanistan," the statement quoted President Karzai as saying.
The Afghan president also said his country's youth will stand up and defend their country. "The Afghans must be responsible for defending their country."
"The beginning of security transition and the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan means Afghan security forces must be strengthened and that Afghans throughout the country have more confidence on their national army and police," the statement added.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday night in Washington announced his plans for Afghanistan troops' drawdown that is set to begin in July, ordering 10,000 troops from the insurgency-hit country by year-end with a total of 33,000 troops to be out by summer 2012.
Presently over 140,000 NATO and U.S. forces have been stationed in the insurgency-hit country fighting a Taliban-led insurgency in its 10th year.