Italian PM vows Afghan support will continue after troops pull out
updated 10:13 AM EST, Sun November 4, 2012
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, seen in this May 2012 file photo, says his country will continue to support Afghanistan.
- The Italian prime minister makes a surprise visit to Afghanistan
- Italian combat troops are scheduled to withdraw in 2014
- "It is important that the relationship...doesn't stop" after troops pull out, he says
- Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti meets with troops, Afghan Prime Minister Hamid Karzai
Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Italy's prime minister vowed Sunday that his country will continue supporting Afghanistan even after combat troops pull out.
"It is important that the relationship between Afghanistan and the international community is modified to reflect the new conditions, but that it doesn't stop," Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said Sunday in a joint news conference with Afghan Prime Minister Hamid Karzai.
NATO leaders are on a timetable to withdraw all of the alliance's combat troops from Afghanistan in 2014.
"It will be a presence based less on military contributions," Monti said. "It will be a presence based far more on economic cooperation, it will be cooperation on the exploration and use of Afghanistan's important mineral resources and it will be a cooperation, as it already is in this phase, of institution-building to make Afghanistan an ever more solid country."
Monti met with Karzai after visiting Italian forces on a surprise trip to Herat, Afghanistan, where Italy's troops there are based.
About 4,000 Italian troops are stationed in Afghanistan, according to a tally published by NATO's International Security Assistance Force on October 8.
At least 49 Italian troops have died in the Afghan war, according to a CNN tally.
Sunday is Italy's Armed Forces Day, which commemorates the end of World War I and honors Italian troops.
CNN's Alexander Felton contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 2:18 AM EST, Fri February 8, 2013
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.