U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Afghanistan President Ghani smile during news conference at Camp David

U.S. pledges to keep funding Afghans amid calls for slower pullout

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and Afghanistan President Ghani smile during news conference at Camp DavidBy Phil Stewart CAMP DAVID, Md. (Reuters) – The United States assured Afghanistan’s leaders on Monday it would keep funding Afghan security forces at a targeted peak level of 352,000 personnel at least into 2017 to provide stability as foreign troops withdraw from the country. The announcement by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter came ahead of talks at the White House on Tuesday at which Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is expected to press his case for a slowing of the withdrawal of U.S. forces. After a day of talks at the U.S. presidential retreat at Camp David, Carter, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan leaders were at pains to avoid getting ahead of the White House talks, at which Obama is expected to respond to Ghani’s plea.

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