10:24 pm - Friday November 6, 2015

Italian PM calls Modi for early resolution of marines issue

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Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi spoke to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Monday to resolve the issue of arrest of its two marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in 2012.

“We hope for a rapid, positive solution,” he told Mr. Modi during a telephonic conversation, ANSA quoted Mr. Renzi’s office as saying.

The Indian Prime Minister told Mr. Renzi that the matter is subjudice and that the country’s judicial process should be allowed to take its own course, Xinhua reported.

During the conversation that took place at Italy’s request, Mr. Modi emphasised that “a fair and early resolution” of the marines issue was in mutual interest of the two countries, an Indian government statement said on Monday.

Mr. Renzi requested for early resolution of the issue, it added.Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone were arrested for killing the fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February 2012, mistaking their fishing boat for a pirate vessel. The two are currently on bail.

In May, the Italian government announced it was opening a “new phase” in the saga, replacing its special envoy in the case and sending its ambassador back to New Delhi to help steer the case towards arbitration.

Italy has long attempted to win international support in the case.

The Indian Supreme Court had on March 27 sought a response from the government on the petition filed by the two marines challenging the jurisdiction of NIA to probe and prosecute the case.

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