Prodi backed in key Afghan vote

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government has won a vote in the Senate to keep Italy's troops in Afghanistan.

Prodi backed in key Afghan vote

Italian PrimeMinister Romano Prodi's government has won a vote in the Senate to keep Italy's troops in Afghanistan.

 

The vote gives final approval to a measure that provides funding for allItalian missions abroad.

The government saw off a rebellion from some left-wing members of the rulingcoalition, to repeat the victory it had already achieved in the lower house.

Commentators had said that a defeat in the vote could have led to the collapseof Mr Prodi's fragile government.

In the event it was carried by 180 votes to two, with 132 abstentions, whichin the Senate count as "No" votes.

Opposition split

The parties on the far left of Mr Prodi's alliance want the 1,800 Italiantroops currently deployed in Afghanistanto come home.

In previous votes on Afghanistan,he has been propped up by the centre-right opposition led by Silvio Berlusconi,which supports the deployment.

But Mr Berlusconi has become more critical - notably of the way in which thegovernment negotiated the release of an Italian journalist kidnapped in Afghanistan bythe Taleban, a deal which saw five Taleban prisoners freed in exchange.

Come the vote, the opposition split, with senators from Mr Berlusconi'sparty abstaining, but most of the Christian Democrat Party backing thegovernment.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano had issued an eleventh hour plea to allsides to reach agreement on an issue affecting national troops abroad.

The Italian troops form part of the Nato mission in Kabuland Herat, notthe more dangerous south of the country.

Nato can now be reassured that Italywill remain part of the coalition for the time being, says the BBC's ChristianFraser in Rome.

And Mr Prodi lives to fight another day, though his seems to be a governmentthat stumbles from one crisis to another, our correspondent adds.

Source:BBC

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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