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Italy recalls ambassador to India in row over detained marines

Rome, Feb 18 (PTI): Italy on Tuesday recalled its ambassador to India for consultations on the case of the two marines from that country who are awaiting trial for the alleged murder of Indian fishermen in February 2012.

Italy’s foreign affairs minister Emma Bonino said the consultations will help the government decide how to deal with the situation of “ambiguous and unreliable” behaviour by Indian authorities.

“The Italian government has ordered the immediate recall of its Ambassador in India, Daniele Mancini, for consultations,” Bonino said after the Supreme Court in New Delhi postponed till February 24 the hearing involving marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone.

The hearing was earlier scheduled for today.

“The main objective of Italy is to get the return as timely homeland of the two Riflemen...,” Banino said, adding given “inability of India to manage the affair, Italy will continue and intensify its commitment to the recognition of their rights as a sovereign state in accordance with international law.”

Expressing disappointment, Italian government's envoy dealing with the marines issue, Staffan De Mistura, said, “Rome will decide in the coming hours the line to get in front of this situation,” Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Justifying the Ambassador's “recall”, Italian defence minister Mario Mauro said, “The decision of the Italian government to recall the Ambassador to Italy is not only justified but unavoidable and reflects the sentiment of our people.”

”The measure is full and even greater is the outrage that invests across the nation and which can not propagate to the entire international community. Upon this case there is no justice, we are faced with a behaviour ambiguous and unreliable by the Indian authorities,” Mauro was quoted as saying by ANSA.

Meanwhile, in New Delhi, official sources said the ministry of external affairs has not been informed by Italy about the move.

“There is no need for the Italian government to inform MEA, if they are calling their Ambassador for consultations,” an official said.

Italy has registered strong protest against India for slapping the provisions of the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf (SUA) Act against the marines, asserting that these provisions are slapped against pirates and its marines are not pirates.

Italy has also lobbied with the European Union and the United Nations in this regard.


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