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Karzai’s European tour begins in Italy – Terzi, long-term cooperation plan

Afghanistan is seeking European support at a particularly delicate moment, and is starting off from Italy. President Hamid Karzai will begin a European tour in Rome, where he is to meet with Head of State Napolitano and Premier Monti, which will then take him to Paris and London. His aim is to sign a series of bilateral accords that strengthen Europe’s support and assistance in Afghanistan mainly in the areas of security, cooperation and development.

Speaking of Head of State Giorgio Napolitano’s meeting with President Karzai at the Presidential Palace, which he will also be attending, Minister Giulio Terzi said “we will be discussing a long-term cooperation plan” that includes “all the main forms” of support, and no longer of a military nature after the 2014 withdrawal. Italy is already doing a great deal in all the above-mentioned sectors; indeed, funding approved since 2001 for Afghanistan in the sole context of development cooperation amounts to €570 million. President Karzai is scheduled to leave Rome on Friday morning for Paris, where he is to sign a cooperation accord with Sarkozy, and then on to London for another signing.

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