(CNN) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Sunday the United States and its allies must have patience if his country is not ready to assume control of its own security by July 2011, when U.S. troops would begin leaving under President Obama's plan.
Karzai spoke to CNN's "Amanpour" program, in what was believed to be his first Western television interview since Obama's announcement last week that he will deploy an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Obama also said the U.S. forces would begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in July 2011.
The date was not "an exit announcement," but instead a goal for Afghan forces to be able to start assuming security control from U.S.-led allied forces, Karzai said in the interview.
The United States and its allies "must have patience" and "stay with us" if Afghanistan is not ready to assume security control by then, Karzai said.