Italy appoints Mistura as PM's Special Envoy on marines issue

Published: 05th May 2013 06:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2013 06:11 PM   |  A+A-


Amid the lingering issue of its marines facing trial in the killing of two fishermen in India, Italy has appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Staffan de Mistura as Special Envoy to work out a fair and balanced outcome of the matter.

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta, who assumed office on April 28, appointed Mistura as his Special Envoy to handle the marines issue.

The decision has been conveyed by Italy to India. Mistura will work with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on the issue.

India has already conveyed its intent to work out a balanced approach.

Mistura has been a frequent visitor to India ever since two Italian marines -- Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone -- were arrested in connection with the two Indian fishermen in February last year off the Kerala coast.

He arrived in New Delhi on February 19 last year within days of the arrest of the two marines and has been a familiar face in the corridors of power in Kerala and New Delhi in his quest to get the issue resolved.

A fortnight back the Supreme Court backed the government decision to ask the National Investigation Agency, which usually handles cases of terrorism, to probe the killing of two Indian fishermen by the Italian marines.

Khurshid had sought to reassure the Italian government that the assignment of the case to the NIA should be seen only as a task given to a probe agency not under the NIA Act but by nomination.

The Supreme Court has asked a special court to hear the matter on a day-to-day basis.


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