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Obama: Afghanistan troop drawdown schedule is firm

OSLO, Norway (AP) - President Barack Obama says the United States will begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in July 2011 even if the exact pace and details of the movements will depend on conditions at the time.

Obama said Thursday that he is committed to the timetable even though some critics question it because the United States is about to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

The president said that as the transition takes place, U.S. forces will help train Afghans to protect their population centers and degrade the Taliban's ability to wage war.

Obama said the U.S. will continue for years to help Afghanistan maintain its security forces and improve its agriculture and other economic sectors.

He made his remarks to reporters in Oslo, where he traveled to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.

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