New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) The Indian government’s diplomacy has succeeded in securing the return of the two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen to India to stand trial, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Friday.
“It is the government’s diplomacy which has succeeded and people know it is the government which takes the diplomatic effort that has succeeded,” Chidambaram told reporters.
On the opposition claiming credit, Chidambaram said: “If the government’s diplomacy succeeds and the opposition wishes to claim credit, I have no objection.”
The external affairs ministry announced Friday that the Italian government had informed it the marines would return.
On March 11, Italy informed India the marines – who had been allowed to go home by the Supreme Court Feb 22 following an undertaking by the Italian envoy – would not be sent back, leading to a diplomatic stand off. The ambassador was restrained by the apex court from leaving India for reneging on his word.
The marines, posted aboard oil tanker MV Enrica Lexie on security duty, had Feb 15, 2012, opened fire at a fishing boat off the coast of Kerala, suspecting it carried pirates. Two fishermen, Ajesh Binki and Gelastine, were killed in the firing.