NEW YORK (Reuters) - Afghanistan is stabilising more slowly than expected, the chief US envoy for the region said on Tuesday, but that is unlikely to keep President Barack Obama from beginning to withdraw combat troops next year. Richard Holbrooke, the US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said the only conceivable thing to me is that the president will do what he said he would do and begin withdrawals in a careful, responsible manner. The president was talking about combat troops and a conditions-based drawdown policy, Holbrooke told the Reuters Washington Summit from New York. He did not set a final exit date and he made clear ... that there would be continued economic and development assistance and continued support for the training, equipping and financial support of the army and the police. Holbrooke acknowledged that some of the civilian elements of the US strategy to stabilise Afghanistan were not moving as quickly as expected, including efforts to reconcile with moderate Taliban fighters and re-integrate them into society. International donors have contributed some $300 million to a fund to encourage the process and the United States supports President Karzais programme, he said. It is not moving as fast as it should, Holbrooke said. One of the iron laws of Afghanistan, it seems to me, is that things move more slowly than people say they will, he said. The issue isnt 'Are you behind schedule? ... The issue is 'Are you moving forward?