DIPLOMATIC HISTORY WITH italy
Afghanistan shares a unique historical bond and decades-long partnership with Italy. The amicable relations between Afghanistan and Italy draw its strength from 1919, when Italy as the first western country, recognized Afghanistan's independence. Official Diplomatic Relations were established when Ambassador Mohammad Wali Khan — his majesty Amanullah Khan’s special envoy — and Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Count Carlo Sforza, signed the “Exchange of Permanent Diplomatic Mission, Treaty of Commerce and the Agreement to send a Trade Mission” in Rome on June 3, 1921.
Until 1960, Italy and Afghanistan continued to have minister plenipotentiaries for each other before promoting the missions to permanent embassies. Mr. Azimullah Khan and Mr. Gaetano Paterno di Manchi di Bilici were the first two Plenipotentiary Ministers in Rome and Kabul.
The friendly Afghanistan-Italy relations began to falter slightly in the pre-World War II era. However, relations begin to reverse that trend after the war. Aside from the temporary closure of Italian Embassy in Kabul on 1979, 1989 and 1993, Afghanistan and Italy have been pursuing a smooth and friendly relations for decades now. During the twentieth century, Rome had also been home to the majesties King Amanullah Khan and King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan who lived there in exile.
The cooperation between Italy and Afghanistan has further grown since 2001, in which the Italian Republic has been a strategic partner and a true supporter of Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism, maintaining peace and security, providing public health, and in pursuing judicial reforms. The Italian Republic has also been a consistent supporter of educating young Afghans through workshops, training, capacity building courses, and annual higher education grants.
Aside from, through infrastructure reconstructions, in particular the rehabilitation of Maidan Shar – Bamyan road and a comprehensive renovation of Herat International Airport, Italy has made considerable contributions to our country’s efforts to achieve its development goals.
Furthermore, the Italian Republic has also been a steadfast supporter of the post-Taliban democratic order in Afghanistan. Since 2002, Through NATO’s “International Security Assistance” (ISAF) and the “Resolute Support”, Italian Armed Forces, alongside the Afghan Security and National Forces, have made valuable sacrifices and have been fighting for the common goal of achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan and the wider world.