Italy renews commitment to Afghanistan
Speaking at a ceremony that marked the change of command at the Italian provincial reconstruction team (PRT) office, Di Paola said his country would stay committed to Afghanistan until the mission of their soldiers was completed.
The outgoing Italian PRT commander, Gen. Luciano Portolano, handed over the change to the team’s new commander Gen. Luigi Chiapperini at the ceremony also attended by NATO commander Gen. John Allen and other civil and military officials.
The visiting Italian minister, however, did not say when the PRT mission was going to complete but said their efforts for Afghanistan’s development in partnership with the Kabul government would continue.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers are scheduled to leave Afghanistan by 2014, as the security transition from foreign soldiers to Afghan lead is already underway.
Italy has 4,200 soldiers most of them based in Herat and other provinces such as Farah, Ghor and Badghis provinces. So far 50 Italian soldiers have been killed.
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