Washington: The US said it plans to shift to "support role" in Afghanistan by 2013 so as to complete the security transition to Afghan forces by 2014 even as it sought to play down President Hamid Karzai's order to pull out American troops from villages and confine them to bases.

The US plans to shift to "support role" by 2013, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, adding it would complete the security transition to the security forces of Afghanistan by 2014.

At the same time, Carney said there can be no resolution of the current situation in Afghanistan without a political resolution. However, he reiterated that that the US supports an Afghan-led political reconciliation process.

The US tried to playdown President Karzai's order in Kabul in which he asked Washington to pull out all its troops from Afghan villages and confine them to bases.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said the statement of Afghan President on early troop pullback from the country reflects his strong interest in moving as quickly as possible to a fully independent and sovereign Afghanistan.

"The Secretary (of Defense) has seen President Karzai's statement. He believes it reflects President Karzai's strong interest in moving as quickly as possible to a fully independent and sovereign Afghanistan," Little said in a statement.

"The Secretary also believes that we have made good progress thus far in both security gains and transition, and that it is important for us to remain focused on those efforts in the months ahead," he said.

He said Panetta enjoyed a very detailed and productive set of discussions in Afghanistan with Interior Minister Mohammadi, Defense Minister Wardak and President Karzai.

"These discussions reaffirmed our shared goal of achieving an Afghanistan that can govern and secure itself on the timeframe agreed to at Lisbon," Little said.

(Agencies)