Giovedì, 18 Ottobre 2018
NEW DELHI

Indian airports told to stop ambassador as marines row rises

English
© ANSA

(By Kate Carlisle)New Delhi, March 15 - The Indian
interior ministry notified all the country's airports Friday
about a supreme court travel ban on the Italian ambassador amid
a row over two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen
who failed to return to India as promised earlier this week.
The court slapped the ban, lasting until March 19, on
Ambassador Daniele Mancini after the Italian government's
decision not to send the marines back to India after they were
granted a permit to come home to vote in last month's general
elections.
In its letter to the Italian ambassador, the Indian Supreme
Court said Mancini "violated" a "sworn declaration" presented on
February 9 to the Indian government as "a guarantee of the
marines' return".
Along with the order to not leave the country, the Supreme
Court ordered the ambassador to offer explanations for Italy's
actions by March 18.
Italian diplomats union SNDMAE said Friday that the India
government is holding the Italian ambassador to New Delhi
hostage, violating the Vienna Convention on diplomatic
relations, specifically article 44, which it said aims to stop
diplomats "being taken hostage while carrying out their duties,
as is happening to Ambassador Mancini".
An earlier deal, which allowed the marines to return to
Italy for Christmas, was respected by both governments and was
seen as a positive step - as well as a sign of goodwill -
towards a diplomatic solution.
In other moves, India on Friday put on hold the procedure
for its new ambassador to Rome, saying it had reduced its
diplomatic mission in Italy.
Newly appointed Indian Ambassador Basant Kumar Gupta was
scheduled to leave for Rome on Friday, but did not.
Spokesmen for High Representative of the European Union for
Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton declined to
discuss what was said to the EU's ambassador to New Delhi, Joao
Cravino, who was summoned to the Indian foreign ministry
Thursday.
After first issuing a "no comment," later on Friday EU said
it hoped for a "common solution" to the dispute between India
and Italy.
"The EU is taking note of the disputes between India and
Italy and continues to hope that a common solution can be
reached through negotiation," said a spokesperson for Catherine
Ashton, EU foreign affairs representative.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also called
for a "peaceful resolution and respect for international law" on
Friday.
The Italian foreign ministry advised Italians in India to
show "prudence" amid probable street protests against Italy's
refusal to send back the two anti-piracy marines.
An advisory on the 'viaggiaresicuri' (travel safe) Website
said Italians in India or planning a trip there should try to
keep away from any protests, especially in the southern state of
Kerala where the fishermen came from.
The marines, Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who
had been held in India since February 2012, were allowed to
return to Italy for one month for national elections held
February 24-25.
Latorre and Girone, who are charged with homicide for
allegedly shooting the fishermen while on an anti-piracy
mission, were supposed to return to India later this month.
The Italian government has always denied that India has
jurisdiction over the matter, as the incident took place in
international waters off the country's coast.
Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi on Thursday said
Italy's decision to not return the pair was legitimate and Italy
had a strong case which it wanted to put to independent
arbitration.
"We have a very solid position, of which we are perfectly
convinced, (as are) many important partners in the international
community, (based on) the fact that we are acting in full
respect of international law," Terzi said.

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