Italy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan

Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini, April 12, 2010.

From Ben Farmer, the TelegraphFranco Frattini, Italy’s foreign minister said its 3,400 troops will have left the country by 2014.

Mr Frattini spoke as Italy mourned four Italian soldiers killed at the weekend when their convoy was blown up in western Afghanistan.

He said: "To the families of our soldiers who died a heroic death I want to confirm that there’s a political plan for Afghanistan, that their loved ones have not been sent to certain defeat in an impossible mission."

"That’s with a timing that has yet to be decided: summer 2011 for the start of a gradual drawdown of troops, with the intention of completing it by 2014," he told an Italian newspaper.  (photo: Getty)

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