Kabul: Italy`s Prime Minister has pledged not to abandon Afghanistan in 2014, saying his country will "transform" its support but not leave altogether as foreign troops draw down.
Mario Monti met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Italian troops during today`s visit. Monti told reporters that the departure of most international combat troops in 2014 will not mean a break in his country`s commitment.
He also said, however, that he hoped the Afghan presidential election the same year will give the country a reason to celebrate progress.
The previous presidential and parliamentary polls were marred by massive fraud.
On his side, Karzai repeated a call to remove foreign observers from an election watchdog group that monitored fraud in previous votes. Karzai said putting foreigners in such a place of power threatens Afghanistan`s national sovereignty.