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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

New Delhi, Rome stick to guns

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 28, 2012
First Published: 13:45 IST(28/2/2012) | Last Updated: 23:54 IST(28/2/2012)

While sticking to their stated positions, Italy and India have decided not to let the killing of two fishermen cast a shadow on their bilateral ties. The Italians are also working on the proposal of cash compensation to the victims.

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After the meeting, Italian foreign minister Guilio Terzi and his Indian counterpart SM Krishna held their respective positions. But Italians seem to be reconciling to the Indian position on not treating the incident as a diplomatic or political issue but a law and order one.

“We met in the backdrop of an unfortunate incident... There is a very strong public opinion on both sides. Minister Terzi and I agreed that we need to clear the air so people in both countries are reassured” Krishna said after the meeting.

In the afternoon, Terzi travelled to Kochi to meet the two Italian Mariners detained for the killing.

Asserting that there were “differences of opinion” between India and Italy over the incident, Terzi said, “I have explained frankly the position of our government on the legal aspect... There is a difference of opinion and it has not been resolved.

We hope to pursue the matter in a friendly spirit, understanding and cooperation.”

India wants the law of the land to take its course, while Italians want the marines to be tried under their law, citing article 97 of the United Nations Convention on Law of the sea.


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