HERAT (Afghanistan) – On 26 January 2021, Brigadier General of the Italian Army Alberto Vezzoli, Commander of the Brigade “Julia” and the Multinational Army, formally handed over command of Train, Advise, Assist Command-West (TAAC-W) at Camp Arena to Brigadier General Beniamino Vergori of the Italian Army, Commander of the Brigade “Folgore”. The ceremony was attended by the Italian Minister of Defense, Hon. Lorenzo Guerini and led by Lieutenant General of the Italian Army Nicola Zanelli, Deputy Commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission. Many other prominent civilian and military guests also attended, including NATO’s Senior Civil Representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo, and Italian Ambassador to Afghanistan Vittorio Sandalli.
“I acknowledge the great work that Brigadier General Vezzoli and Brigade” Julia “are doing, day by day, shoulder to shoulder with our Afghan counterparts on the path to lasting peace in Herat and across the country,” Lieutenant General Zanelli points out. Ambassador Pontecorvo highlighted the contribution of Train, Advise, Assist Command-West and the Multinational Land Force to the NATO-led mission, and recognized their work to enhance the capability and sustainability of the Afghanistan Defense and National Security Force.
“It is important to protect the achievements that have been made during the last 20 years at high cost, also in terms of human lives; in recent years Afghanistan has moved along a reconstruction path; terrorism, however, remains a pervasive threat and attacks on state institutions, local security forces and communities are tragic testimony to that; we must work hand in hand with the Afghan people: this is our common wish, and I have emphasized that within the framework of NATO, we will soon determine the future of the mission, “ Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini said. “One of the most important lessons to be learned is that lasting peace cannot be enforced: peace must emerge from and develop through shared political, economic and diplomatic processes. Even in this very difficult phase, our position has not changed: we will stay in the country with our Allies until it is needed, and until the Afghan Institute and the people will ask us to do it, according to our commitments, “ he added.
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