Negotiated with Modi govt. on marines: Italy

Italy has informed the International Tribunal of the Sea (ITLOS) that it tried to negotiate with the Narendra Modi government, both on a ‘visible track’ as well as ‘behind the scenes,’ in the Italian marines case.

A file photo of Italian marines Massimiliano Lattore, right, and Salvatore Girone, who are accused of killing two Indian fishermen.

The submission is significant as the marines case was being heard in the Supreme Court before Italy moved for international arbitration and any backdoor negotiation could mean contravention of the court. Soon after the National Democratic Alliance government was sworn in May 2014, Italy began the negotiations, but it was in the middle of May this year “the Indian government indicated that it had no latitude to pursue a negotiated settlement, given the engagement of the Indian Supreme Court.”

Italy said “a possible settlement was sought on a visible track in correspondence to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, and, separately, behind the scenes, between the most senior representatives of Prime Minister Renzi and Prime Minister Modi.”

India a day ago told the tribunal that Italy’s call for “compassion” for the two marines who shot dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012 was “misplaced” and also accused Italy of filing numerous applications which were “abusive and mutually inconsistent” to delay the case. Italy said, ‘‘while there was still a possibility of a political settlement, it was in the interests of both the Italian and the Indian governments to afford space to their discussions. The delays in the Indian court proceedings provided some negotiating space. There is no longer any prospect of a negotiated settlement. Quite apart from the critical humanitarian considerations that have compelled us here today, the failure of the political track has brought the dispute to a turning point. India’s assertion of jurisdiction over the Enrica Lexie incident and over the Italian marines now threatens to crystallise into a more egregious and manifest violation of Italy’s rights.’’

The incident was reported on February 12, 2012 when the duo, Sergeants Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, allegedly opened fire on an Indian boat killing two Indian fishermen from Kerala on board.

Posted by on August 12, 2015. Filed under World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.