Thursday, December 3, 2009
Italy is to send about 1,000 extra troops to Afghanistan, say reports.
The move comes two days after US President Barack Obama announced that America was sending 30,000 more forces to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.
Mr Obama has asked Nato allies to increase their deployments in Afghanistan, but several European nations are reluctant to do so.
The alliance's foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels for two days of talks set to focus on the US request.
In an interview published on Thursday, Italy's Defence Minister, Ignazio La Russa, confirmed reports that Rome would send about 1,000 extra soldiers to the country.
Mr La Russa told the Corriere della Sera newspaper suggestions in the media that 1,500 soldiers could be sent were "just a hypothesis".
He said the figure was "a maximum quota which we would never reach", reported Reuters news agency.
Italy currently has 3,200 soldiers serving in Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the conflict was a test of Nato's "credibility" and that it was "clear that Italy must finish the job started with Nato".
For the full report click here for BBC online