NATO adopted a framework on Friday to turn over security in Afghanistan to local government, and has said that the transition could be planned for this year.

If successful, the move could enable the US to go ahead with a planned withdrawal of its forces in 2011, according to the Washington Post.

Senior officials said that the foreign troops will remain in a support role gradually allowing Afghan forces to take the lead.

The plan was discussed with the Afghan Government, which is expected to give its formal approval at an international conference in Kabul in July.

US and Nato forces will observe the performance of Afghan forces during the final selection, which is expected to be announced at a Nato summit in November 2010.