Human Rights

Italian troops to remain in Afghanistan pending consultation with allies – Official

ROME, Undersecretary of the Italian Ministry of Defense Raffaele Volpi said Friday the Italian troops would continue taking part in the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Afghanistan.

The future of Italian troop contribution to the RSM can be decided only through consultations with NATO allies, he affirmed, noting that the issue is simpler than it appears in the media.

Volpi, a leading member of the Lega Nord (Northern League) – a partner in the ruling coalition, made the comments at an electoral forum in the wake of media reports that Italy would pull out troops from the Central Asian country.

Italy’s stance on its troop contribution to the RSM is the same as its stances towards other missions in the Mediterranean region and elsewhere, he said, affirming that everything is decided in collaboration with the allies.

On January 28, Italian Defense Minister Elisabetta Trenta has reportedly instructed the Inter-force Operating Command (COI) to assess planning to withdraw the 800-strong Italian force from Afghanistan within a timeframe of 12 months.

Over its 17-year long military presence in Afghanistan, Italy suffered 54 fatalities and spent nearly USD eight billion.

Source: Kuwait News Agency