Abdullah Abdullah says US troops pulling out too soon

ANKARA: Afghanistan’s chief peace envoy Abdullah Abdullah said Saturday that the U.S. decision to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan has come too soon, as his country is still struggling to attain peace and security amid an ongoing conflict.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Abdullah also described as “shocking” an Australian military report that found evidence that elite Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghan prisoners. He welcomed a decision by Australian authorities to pursue the perpetrators.

Abdullah spoke in Ankara where he sought Turkey’s support for negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban that are taking place in Qatar to find an end to decades of war. The talks have made little progress so far.

“This is the decision of the U.S administration and we respect it,” Abdullah said of the U.S. decision this week to reduce troops levels in Afghanistan from more than 4,500 to 2,500. “Our preference would have been that with the conditions improving, this should have taken place.” - AP `�!��W�*