Taking a tougher stance against Italy, New Delhi has decided to put on hold its ambassador-designate Basant Gupta going to Rome and begun a comprehensive study of the bilateral ties.
It also reached out to 27-member European Union (EU) to gather support.
New Delhi is now going slow on sending its ambassador designate after asking Gupta to join at the earliest in the wake of the VVIP chopper scam. If India sends the Italian ambassador back, Gupta can be faced with the predicament of being asked to leave Italy.
As the situation delicately poised with no common-ground at sight yet, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the situation.
The India-Italy ties have come to a low after Rome refusing to send two marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen, in violation of a sovereign guarantee given by the Italian envoy to India.
The government has also undertaken a review of the bilateral ties with Italy, weighing the pros and cons in taking stringent diplomatic measures with a key member of EU, Nato and above all a friendly country.
“Everything that is necessary to ensure that the dignity and primacy of India will be preserved,” said Salman Khurshid.
“We have initiated a study of our interactions with Italy. After the internal process, we will take action that is appropriate taking into account all aspects of ties,” MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.