Italy’s defense minister meets with Ghani to discuss security, bilateral relations
Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini visited Kabul Tuesday to meet with Afghan leaders including President Ashraf Ghani, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah, and NSA Hamdullah Mohib.
Afghan voice agency (AVA)_Guerini discussed the Afghan peace process, ’s_military presence in Afghanistan, and bilateral relations with the Afghan officials.
During his meeting with Ghani, Guerini expressed his concerns over the escalation of violence and the string of assassinations across Afghanistan and called for an immediate end to the violence, the Presidential Palace said in a statement.
Praising the bravery of the Afghan Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in counter-terrorism, Guerini stated that Italy remains committed to continuing its assistance with Afghanistan in various areas and in terms of the presence of Italian forces in Afghanistan within the framework of NATO Resolute Support Mission.
“President Ghani said people of Afghanistan and the world with a unified voice call for halting the violence and asserted Taliban must understand that protraction of the violence will prompt the people of Afghanistan and the world to mobilize against them,” read the statement.
Ghani also extended his gratitude to Italy for their support of development and economic programs in Afghanistan, particularly funding the fourth part of the -Herat_railway project as well as its assistance within the framework of the NATO Resolute Support Mission, the statement concluded.
In the meeting with the National Security Advisor , Guerini emphasized the need for a real reduction in violence, progress in the ongoing negotiations, and termination of with terrorist groups.
“NSA Mohib and Minister agreed on the need to preserve the gains of the last two decades; to strengthen a unified, sovereign and democratic Afghanistan that is at peace; and to protect the rights of all Afghans, including those of women and minorities,” Mohib’s office said.
Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of HCNR following a meeting with the Italian military official stated: “We exchanged views on bilateral relations and the peace process. I thanked him and Italy for their continued support for Afghanistan, and a dignified and lasting peace. HE assured me of Italy’s full support.”