Barack Obama on Afghanistan withdrawal timetable


President Barack Obama has said he does not foresee an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in July 2011, the date he has set for the start of the drawdown of US forces.

"We didn't say we'd be switching off the lights and closing the door behind us," he said at the White House, a day after naming Gen David Petraeus as his new Afghan commander.

"We said we'd begin a transition phase that would allow the Afghan government to take more and more responsibility."

He also said he did not foresee any other high-level departures from his Afghanistan policy team.