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Marines issue: Italy recalls envoy to India

February 18, 2014 19:15 IST

Stepping up pressure, Italy on Tuesday recalled its Ambassador in New Delhi over the issue of two Italian marines facing trial in India and lashed out at Indian authorities for their "ambiguous and unreliable" behaviour.

In New Delhi, official sources said Ministry of External Affairs have 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, they said.

Announcing Italy's decision to recall the Ambassador, Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino said, "The Italian government has ordered the immediate recall of its Ambassador in India, Daniele Mancini, for consultations."

Italy's decision came within hours of the Supreme Court in New Delhi postponing till February 24 the hearing involving marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, facing murder charges. The hearing was earlier scheduled for on Tuesday.

"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 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. Latorre and Girone are facing trial for allegedly killing two Indian fishermen in February 2012.

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 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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