Officially known as the Pact of Friendship and Alliance, the Pact of Steel was a political agreement between Italy of Benito Mussolini, and Nazi Germany, binding these two nations together militarily and economically. Signed on May 22, 1939, by Joachim von Ribbentrop, foreign minister of Germany, and Count Galeazzo Ciano minister of foreign affairs of Italy, basically the Pact of Steel compelled both sides to help each other if war broke out. It contained seven articles: 1) Germany and Italy were to stay in communication with one another, in order to come to an understanding of all common interests or the European situation as a whole; 2) Italy and Germany were to follow similar foreign policy; 3) full military support of the signatories should the other country go to war; 4) encouraged the establishment of greater cooperation in the military sphere and the sphere of war economy; 5) Italy and Germany were to agree to all future armistices; 6) the Pact underlined the importance of maintaining relations with countries which were friendly towards either Italy or Germany; 7) the last article dealt with the validity of the Pact, stating that the Pact came into force upon completion and that it would last until 1949.

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