Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio on Wednesday hailed as "historic" a decision by NATO members to start pulling out forces from Afghanistan in May, with plans to complete the drawdown of all troops within a few months.
"Today we reached an historic decision: to begin the withdrawal of NATO troops from the country (Afghanistan) on 1 May, including Italian forces," Di Maio said in a statement in Brussels.
Di Maio was speaking after a meeting of NATO foreign and defence ministers and as US president Joe Biden announced that troops will leave Afghanistan by 11 September - the 20th anniversary of Al-Qaeda's attacks on the US that prompted US airstrikes there.
Italy has around 900 troops deployed with NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. The mission currently consists of some 10,000 troops from 36 NATO Allies and partners.