Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018
BRUSSELS

EU backs Italy over ambassador, say India violating int' law

English
© ANSA

Brussels, March 19 - Catherine Ashton, the European
Union's high representative for foreign affairs, said Tuesday
that India was violating the Vienna Convention on diplomatic
relations after India's Supreme Court ordered Italy's ambassador
to New Delhi not to leave the country.
The court imposed the order on Italian Ambassador Daniele
Mancini after Rome said two Italian marines accused of killing
two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala during an
anti-piracy mission last year would not return to India.
The marines, Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, had
been allowed to come home last month to vote in Italy's general
election.
In the statement, Ashton said that: "the 1961 Vienna
Convention on Diplomatic relations is a cornerstone of the
international legal order and should be respected at all times.
"Any limitations to the freedom of movement of the
Ambassador of Italy to India would be contrary to the
international obligations established under this Convention".
Up to now the EU had seemed to be trying to distance itself
from an increasingly acrimonious row, saying it was a bilateral
dispute.
Ashton expressed "concern" about the Indian Supreme Court's
March 14 decision to impose the ban on Mancini leaving India and
the March 18 decision to extend it until it next hears the case
on April 2.
The Vienna Convention states that the rights of diplomats
are "inviolable" and they cannot be detained.
However, the Indian Supreme Court said Mancini's case is an
exception, arguing that, on the basis of Article 32 of the
Vienna Convention, he "automatically lost" his diplomatic
immunity by signing a guarantee that the marines would return.
Rome, which has declared the travel ban "illegal", has
always denied that India has jurisdiction over the marines case,
saying the incident took place in international waters.
Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said last week that
the decision to not return the pair was legitimate and Italy had
a strong case which it wanted to put to independent arbitration.
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.
"The High Representative continues to hope that a mutually
acceptable solution can be found through dialogue and in respect
of international rules and encourages the parties to explore all
avenues to that effect," read Ashton's statement.

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