Italy to send 1,200 more soldiers to Afghanistan
Rome: Italy wants to expand its troop presence in Afghanistan by more than a third, Italian media quoted Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa as saying Saturday during a meeting with US General David Petraeus in Milan.
"We have decided to increase our contingent in Afghanistan to 4,000 troops by the end of the year," he said.
Italy currently has some 2,800 soldiers participating in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had repeatedly promised to deploy more soldiers this year for a limited time to the war-torn country.
An additional deployment of military trainers early next year is not to be ruled out either, in a bid to hand over regions in the west of the country to Afghan troops by the end of 2011, La Russa added.
Petraeus, the commander of international forces in Afghanistan, was said to have emphatically welcomed during the meeting with La Russa reported peace negotiations between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Taliban fighters.
The expectation, however, is that the Taliban would have to meet Karzai`s conditions and cut all links to Al Qaeda and international terrorism, Petraeus reportedly said.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Missed the dance of American President Donald Trump? - Watch it here
- Pawan, a BE student develops smart dustbin -Watch
- DNA: Manish Sisodia faces CBI probe over alleged irregularities in 'Talk To AK' programme
- Barack Obama thanks Americans for making him a 'better man'
- UP elections: Mulayam Singh says he will campaign for son Akhilesh
- Accused of Muslim-bias on visa applications, Sushma Swaraj hits back
- Cuttack ODI: Umpire Kumar Dharmasena messes up DRS review, twitter couldn't stop trolling
- Donald Trump's Inauguration Day: As it happened
- Yuvraj Singh's wife Hazel Keech suggests new middle name for hubby Yuvi following Cuttack heroics
- Virat Kohli vs Sachin Tendulkar: Who is a better cricketer? Read what Virender Sehwag has to say