Italian Premier Matteo Renzi Monday spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought a “rapid and positive solution” in the case of the two Italian marines being held in India for allegedly shooting two Indian fishermen in 2012.
“We hope for a rapid, positive solution,” Renzi told Modi over the telephone, Italian news agency ANSA quoted Renzi’s office as saying.
In New Delhi, the Prime Minister’s Office said, “Prime Minister Renzi requested for early resolution of the Italian Marine issue. PM Modi emphasised that a fair and early resolution was in mutual interest. He conveyed that the matter is sub judice before the Supreme Court of India in writ petitions filed by the marines and encouraged the Italian side to allow the judicial process to take its own course. In this context, he emphasised that Indian judiciary is free, fair and independent and we are convinced that it will take all aspects into consideration in adjudicating the case.”
Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone have been held in India for allegedly shooting fishermen Valentine and Ajesh Binki during an anti-piracy mission in February 2012 off the coast of Kerala, an incident that sparked diplomatic tensions between India and Italy.
According to the PMO’s statement, Renzi congratulated Modi on his victory in the elections. “PM Modi thanked Prime Minister Renzi for his felicitations and wished him success in leading Italy on the path of economic recovery and prosperity. He also reiterated India’s commitment to further strengthen its bilateral relations with Italy. In this context, he emphasised the need for strengthening economic cooperation through enhanced trade and investment,” it said.
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Modi congratulated Renzi on Italy’s assumption of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. “He expressed the hope that under Italy’s Presidency, India’s relations with the EU will expand rapidly and there will be progress on conclusion of India-EU Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement”, the statement said.