British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that nearly half of the country’s 9000 troops based in Afghanistan will withdraw over the next two years.
The Afghan defence ministry welcomed Britain’s decision and said Afghan forces could fill the gap left by the departing foreign troops.
After 2014, Britain will keep a small number of soldiers in Afghanistan to help train Afghan forces.
Britain’s defence budget is under pressure, forcing the Defence Ministry to spend less on troop numbers and equipment.
Britain, which has the second biggest foreign contingent in Afghanistan after the United States, says its involvement has helped to stabilize the country and has prevented terrorists from finding a safe haven.
More 430 British troops have lost their lives while on duty in the country.