Italy pledges continued support to Afghanistan
In addition to military assistance, Rome would continue to support development and reconstruction projects, Italian Minister for Economic Development Paolo Romani told reporters in Kabul.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Zalmay Rassoul, who signed the agreement with Romani, said Italy and Afghanistan established diplomatic relations 90 years back. The two countries had been good friends, he added.
During his recent trip to Italy, Rassoul said he had discussed the promotion of trade ties between the two countries. He hoped the agreement would further boost their bilateral relations.
The Italian government was interested in extracting marbles from Afghan mines, said the foreign ministry spokesman, Ahmad Zahir Faqiri. "This agreement can be a framework for Italian investors in Afghanistan."
The visiting minister, currently heading a 40-member team to Afghanistan, visited western Herat province, where he met Italian soldiers.
Under command of the International Security Assistance Force, Italy has more than 3,000 troops in Afghanistan. Most of them are based in Herat.
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