UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon expects India and Italy to resolve their standoff over the marine issues constructively and in compliance with their international obligations.
"The secretary-general hopes and expects Italy and India to resolve this matter constructively, and in compliance with their international obligations," Eduardo del Buey, deputy spokesperson for the UN chief, told reporters on Monday.
Two Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who are accused of killing two Indian fishermen last year, had been given permission to fly to Italy to cast their votes in the polls on the understanding that they would return.
But the Italian government last week announced that it would renege on its commitment to send them back, prompting fury in New Delhi.
The two marines were allowed by the Indian Supreme Court to go to Italy to cast their vote after Italian envoy Daniele Mancini had given an assurance to send them back.
The apex court has now asked the Italian Ambassador not to leave the country without its permission, taking exception to his government's refusal to send back the two marines.