About 4,000 Italian soldiers in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by 2014 in accordance with NATO's timetable; however, Monti said Rome would continue to develop the economic and business ties it has with the Afghan government.
"It will be a presence based less on military contributions," Monti said at a Kabul news conference with Afghan Prime Minister Hamid Karzai. "It will be a presence based far more on economic cooperation."
Monti said the areas of cooperation specifically included political institution building and venture involving mining Afghanistan's mineral resources.
CNN said Monti made a surprise visit to an Italian unit in Herat this weekend that coincided with Italy's Armed Forces Day holiday.
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