On Minister for Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi’s instructions, the Ministry’s Secretary General Ambassador Michele Valensise today summoned Indian Ambassador to Rome Debabrata Saha, asked to convey Italy’s request to the Indian government that it urge the Supreme Court in New Delhi to pronounce a ruling on the two Italian Navy sharpshooters Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone before the start of the Christmas holidays. Indeed, it is with profound concern that the Italian government must realise that, after over three months since the conclusion of deliberations, the Supreme Court has still not yet pronounced a ruling on the appeals presented by Italy.
The Secretary General reasserted Italy’s solid legal stance, founded on the concept that the nation for which a ship sailing the high seas flies the flag has jurisdiction, and on the functional immunity of State officials. In this context, Ambassador Valensise confirmed Italy’s concerns about the negative consequences that the failure to acknowledge that jurisdiction could have on the fight against piracy, along with the attention with which the Italian government, institutions and public opinion is following the affair of the two marines, detained for nine months now in the Indian State of Kerala, and the expectation of their timely return to Italy.
Ambassador Saha’s summoning follows Minister Terzi’s meeting with India’s new Minister for Foreign Affairs Khurshid in October in coincidence with his instalment as New Delhi’s top diplomat, during which the urgent need for a positive decision was underscored, together with its importance within the context of relations between Italy and India.