Kabul - Italy is playing an important role at the side of Afghanistan, in the goal of achieving peace and internal reconciliation. That was the message o Italian Ambassador Roberto Cantone, underlined at the June 2nd celebrations in Kabul. Several ceremonies were held in the afghan capital on the 72nd anniversary of the referendum that brought the birth of the Italian Republic: a first ceremony at the NATO "Resolute Support" mission attended by Commander General John Nicholson and during which a laurel wreath was laid in memory of the Italian soldiers who fell in Afghanistan, a second at the Italian Embassy in the presence of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hekmat Karzai. Another ceremony took place in Herat where the "Sassari" brigade is deployed, commanded by General Gianluca Carai. Cantone also highlighted the ongoing commitment to support the most vulnerable sections of the Afghan population, especially women, children and refugees. He recalled the role. General Nicholson pointed out how the Italian participation in the international reconstruction of the country, first in the ISAF mission and then in 2015 with RS, was fundamental. He also noted that the western region of Afghanistan, where the Italian contingent operates and where the most important cooperation projects are concentrated, is today one of the least problematic, both from the security point of view and the development prospects. At the Italian Embassy, Deputy Minister Karzai mentioned the long history of friendship and collaboration between the two countries, since the recognition of the Afghan independence. He then recalled how this collaboration has been particularly strengthened after the end of the Taliban period in 2001 and since then, Italy has spared no effort in the fight against terrorism and the reconstruction of the country. During the June 2nd celebrations, General Nicholson awarded the “Legion of Merit” to General Antonio Bettelli, the highest ranking Italian officer in the RS mission, who passed his command to General Massimo Panizzi. Furthermore, Ambassador Cantone handed the honorific award of the "Grand Official of the Star of Italy Order" to the diplomat Nasser Zia, former Ambassador of Afghanistan to Italy.