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Italy preparing for withdrawal from Afghanistan

29 Jan 2019 11:18

Source : Pajhwok

Reporter : Hafizullah Rajabi

Amid stepped-up efforts for ending the 18-year conflict, Italian troops may be withdrawn from Afghanistan within a year, says a media report.

"Defence Minister (Elisabetta) Trenta has instructed the Interforce Operating Command (COI) to assess the start of planning to withdraw the Italian contingent," ANSA reported.

The proposed pullout could take a year. The decision welcomed as positive by 5-Star Movement, whose leader Alessandro Di Battista called the move ‘splendid news’.

But League, also a government partner, insisted that no decision had been taken so far on the troop pullout. It was only an assessment by the competent minister

The defence minister’s request to assess an Italian troop pullout from Afghanistan was shared with the prime ministerial office. Italian soldiers have been in Afghanistan since 2003.

Efforts for a political solution to the Afghan conflict have gained momentum in recent weeks. Last week, US and Taliban representatives held a series of meetings in Doha on ending the war.