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Italy may withdraw troops from Afghanistan

Italy Preparing for Withdrawal from Afghanistan

KABUL – Amid stepped-up efforts for ending the 18-year conflict, Italy may withdraw troops 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 quoted Italian defence ministry sources.
The proposed pullout could take a year. The decision welcomed as positive by 5-Star Movement of Italy, 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, with the support of Pakistan, in Doha on ending the war.
(Sahar News)

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