Standoff Between Italy and India Ends
By Harold Hutchison
Two Italian Marines will face murder charges in India as the result of a diplomatic settlement ending a standoff that emerged from the deaths of two Indian fishermen in waters off the southwestern coast of India.
The incident occurred while the marines were guarding an Italian ship against pirates. The Italian Marines had returned to Italy to vote in the country’s election, then the government had announced they would remain there. The Indians responded by barring Italy’s ambassador from leaving the country.
The resolution of the diplomatic crisis is being used by the ruling Congress Party to bolster its political standing.
"Ultimately it’s the government’s diplomacy that has succeeded, isn’t it? People know that it is the government which takes diplomatic efforts," said Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.