It took several minutes for the Italian Parliament to calm down after the new Leftist Prime Minister Prodi called for Italian troops to exit the Iraq “mistake”:
The BBC’s David Willey in Rome says Mr Prodi’s comments on the Iraq war caused uproar among opposition politicians in the upper house.
“We consider the war and occupation in Iraq a grave error that hasn’t solved – but has complicated – the problem of security,” Mr Prodi said.
“It is therefore the government’s intention to propose to parliament the withdrawal of our troops, even if we are proud of the display of professional ability, courage and humanity they have been giving.”
Mr Prodi was shouted down by cries of “shame” from right-wing opposition MPs and it took several minutes to restore order.
Mr Prodi gave no date for the withdrawal and said a technical time frame would have to be worked out with the Iraqi authorities and with the UK and United States.
He said his government condemned international terrorism, but he also warned against “fundamentalism” in Western reactions.
He added that most importantly, the international community should not be “indulgent to suggestions of fundamentalism of the opposing strain, which preach crusades and indiscriminately advocate clashes of civilisations.”
Before his election win, Italy had planned to remove troops from Iraq in December of this year.