Cooperation pacts signed with Italy
Inked by foreign ministers of the two countries, the pacts underline enhanced political ties and cooperation in areas of trade, culture and education, a statement from the palace said.
While acknowledging the need for stepping joint efforts at combating illicit drug trafficking and production, the two sides also called for a higher level of international collaboration in this regard.
At a meeting with President Hamid Karzai, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said his country supported the agenda for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. He also pledged long-term commitment to Afghanistan's reconstruction.
A day earlier, international leaders including President Karzai attended in Rome a ceremony marking the 150th anniversary of Italy's unification. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, US Vice President Joe Biden, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon attended the celebration.
Accompanied by his Foreign Minister Zalmay Rasul and the Afghan ambassador to Italy, Karzai was invited to the celebration by Berlusconi.
Having 3,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, Italy is one of the major troop-contributing countries to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
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