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Marines: “Intensive activity to achieve our goal”, Terzi tells Pianetta. “Parliament’s support is vital”

“The Hon. Pianetta is right: Italy intends to act according to the rules of international law and with full respect for these rules will continue to demand – with firm determination – that India come into line with them. That is the line we are following, prompted not by prudence or by boldness, but by the certainty that right is on our side and by the goal of bringing our two boys home”. These were the words of Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi, following on from the note issued yesterday by Enrico Pianetta, the Popolo della Liberta’ group leader in the Chamber of Deputies Foreign Affairs Committee, commenting on the case of the two marines detained in India.

“Under the guidance of the Prime Minister, the Government is acting in a constant and unified manner that follows a well-defined strategy:

1) In view of the situation created by the arrest of our two military personnel, in terms of Indian legal procedures we have never at any time failed to dispute the question of jurisdiction and to object to their lack of jurisdiction. We have maintained a very firm position to ensure that the opening of the criminal trial in the Court of Kollam does not affect the jurisdiction judgment in the Supreme Court in New Delhi. We have also acted to ensure that our two military are provided at all times with all the necessary protections of the enforcement of their rights and the right to defence, as envisaged by the Indian Constitution itself, at articles 32 and 136;

2) At the international level, with contacts at the highest level that have often involved the Prime Minister himself, we are engaged in intensive activity in all multilateral fora and in all bilateral meetings with our principal partners. We have succeeded in bringing all necessary pressure to bear on the Indian Authorities to recognise the legitimacy of our position, in the common interest of preventing an extremely dangerous precedent from being created, a precedent that would be damaging to the certainty of the rule of law. More specifically”, explained Terzi, “I have raised the question with the G8, at the UN and in the European Union. Most recently, in the context of recent meetings between the EU and India, new signals emerging from Europe indicate that they agree with our claims”.

“As confirmed by the Government, acting collectively at the meeting of the Inter-Departmental Committee for the Security of the Republic on 3 August 2012, we intend to pursue this effort with the utmost conviction and determination, starting with the international engagements awaiting us in coming weeks. These include the informal meeting of European Foreign Ministers in Cyprus and the United Nations General Assembly in New York”.

“In this work”, underscored the head of Italian diplomacy, “the support of Parliament is essential and could be an effective instrument for initiatives to achieve a positive outcome to this case. This applies, in particular, to the many MPs of all political forces who, like the Hon. Pianetta, follow Italian foreign policy issues so closely. Ensuring that the prestige and safety of our military personnel engaged in peace and anti-piracy operations is duly recognised is one of the highest priorities of Italian foreign policy in its entirety”.