Thursday, March 14, 2013

Marines issue: Khurshid meets Manmohan

NEW DELHI, March 14, 2013 PTI

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Thursday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh amid growing speculation over India's next move on the issue of two Italian marines who have refused to come back to face trial on charges of homicide.

Mr. Khurshid met the Prime Minister at his residence here.

The Prime Minister had on Wednesday warned Italy of "consequences" for bilateral ties if it did not send back two marines facing trial in the country in the killing of two Indian fishermen.

In a strongly-worded statement in both Houses of Parliament, where government came under attack on the issue, Dr. Singh had accused Italy of "violating every rule of diplomatic discourse" and termed as "unacceptable", its decision not to send back the accused marines Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone.

The two marines were permitted by the Supreme Court on February 22 to go to Italy for four weeks to cast their votes in general elections following a written assurance by Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini that they will return by March 22. There are also demands that the Ambassador be expelled from the country.

The two marines are charged with homicide for killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February last year in an anti-piracy operation.
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