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World powers debate Afghanistan's future in Kabul

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World powers debate Afghanistan's future in Kabul


A group of 29 countries will meet in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, later on Thursday to discuss the country’s future after NATO troops leave in 2014.

Nations taking part include Britain, the United States, China and Russia, as well as diplomats from NATO, the EU and the UN.

Ministers are expected to debate strategies to combat terrorism, fight drug trafficking and boost trade.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said that he plans to use the meeting to tackle his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, on Syria.

There are currently 130,000 troops under NATO command in Afghanistan, but they are gradually expected to return home over the next two years.

France, the fifth largest contributor to the mission, will pull its forces out by the end of this year. The early withdrawal of French troops was a key election pledge by President François Hollande. His predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, wanted them to stay until the end of 2013 at the latest.

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