Throwing its weight behind Italy, the European Union (EU) on Tuesday said India would be breaking international law if it prevented the Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving the country.
The EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton issued a statement saying any limitations to Mancini’s freedom of movement would be against the international obligations established under the Vienna Convention. It said the convention on diplomatic relations was a “cornerstone of international legal order”.
On Monday, a SC bench told Mancini’s counsel it had lost trust in him and restrained him from leaving India without its permission.
The diplomatic fallout was triggered last week when the Italian government announced that the two marines, accused of shooting dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012, would not be returning to India.
The marines had been allowed by the SC to go to Italy in February following a written assurance by Mancini saying they would return in four weeks’ time.
The EU spokesperson said on Tuesday that Ashton hoped India and Italy would arrive at a “mutually acceptable solution” soon.