A German magazine named three provinces which international military forces have nominated to be handed over to Afghan security force control in the spring of next year. Der Spiegel said the 'secret' plan of ISAF commander David Petraeus foresaw the transfer of Sar-i-Pol, Samangan and Badakhshan to the Afghan army and police once the Afghan government approves. The provinces that would be ready for 'transition' within six months were identified in a 20-page 'campaign report' circulated to the western allies before a NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, the magazine said. Petraeus visited Berlin this week. In a story to appear in print on Monday, the magazine said the move would allow Germany to pull out of a base in Fayzabad, capital of Badakhshan in Afghanistan's far north-east corner, which can accommodate up to 500 Germans. Western plans to pull out of Afghanistan are based around the idea of a gradual handover of most of the country after each province has been declared freed from Taliban domination. Spiegel said General Petraeus had chosen the north of the country to begin with. Germany has about 5,000 personnel serving with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Spiegel said German defence officials had added a note of advice that the move did not mean taking any ISAF troops out of Afghanistan, but offered the 'perspective of a commencement of a reduction' of the western forces. (NNI)