Italian minister meets counterpart on fishermen' killing issue

Ship in the sea
New Delhi, Feb 22: As the two countries differed on the issue of arrest of two Italian marines for killing two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Steffan de Mistura today met Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur here to discuss the matter.

Mistura, who arrived here this morning, is understood to have raised Italy's concerns about the arrest during the meeting held in External Affairs Ministry.

Italy had on Monday said that there were "currently considerable differences of a legal character" on the issue of the arrest of the two Italian soldiers, who opened fire at fishermen mistaking them to be pirates off Kochi coast.

Italian Foreign Ministry has said it will "continue on a political level the action so far carried out by a delegation of experts from the Italian foreign, defence and justice ministries." India has maintained that it will go by its legal process only. Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi is also slated to visit India next Tuesday.

"We have made it very clear to them (Italy) that as representatives of India, we will go by our legal process. Of course, there are differences of opinions.....," Indian government sources have said.

Referring to the telephonic conversation between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries and subsequent visit by an Italian delegation comprising officials from their legal and foreign ministries, the sources said India was willing to engage and put across its legal process to them.


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