Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi summoned the Indian Ambassador to Rome, Debrabata Saha, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today, 6 March 2012. Minister Terzi was acting in the name of the Italian Government to protest against the conduct of the Indian authorities with respect to the two Italian military held in Trivandrum following the events involving the crew of the “Enrica Lexie”, an Italian vessel.Minister Terzi reiterated the positions already expressed by the Italian Government on the Italian courts’ sole jurisdiction over an event involving organs of the state operating to combat piracy under the Italian flag and in international waters. He protested firmly over the unacceptable measures adopted against our military personnel. Minister Terzi also defined as “unsatisfactory” the adjustments made to ameliorate their detention conditions. Improvements, moreover, that were only implemented after the action taken by Under-Secretary Staffan De Mistura. Minister Terzi also asked the Indian diplomat to convey to the Government in New Delhi and the state authorities in Kerala the very strong concerns of the Italian Government, Parliament and public opinion. Concerns over the current climate of tension and strong anti-Italian feeling aroused by this case in India, and particularly in Kerala region. A further cause for concern is the possibility that such a climate could be prejudicial to the proper conduct of the legal proceedings now under way, the legitimacy Italy of which does not recognise, given the lack of jurisdiction.
Minister Terzi reported to the Council of Ministers on this case yesterday, 5 March 2012 and has now informed the Prime Minister of the outcome of today’s meeting. The Prime Minister will continue to follow developments personally, together with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Justice, as those most directly involved.