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EU cautious as India strips Italy envoy of 'immunity'

Brussels, Mar 18, 2013 (AFP):

The European Union's (EU) foreign service reacted cautiously today to a decision by India's top judge to strip Italy's ambassador of his diplomatic immunity.

India and Italy should "pursue all avenues for an amicable solution," said the spokesman for European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton.

Michael Mann told a regular news conference that Brussels had "noted" the India supreme court ruling and added: "The Vienna convention must in all cases be observed."

However, pressed on whether the Italian envoy's diplomatic immunity should be upheld, Mann refused to comment further.

Italian ambassador Daniele Mancini was punished over his role in securing the release of two marines who skipped bail while on trial for murder in New Delhi.

Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, who are accused of murdering two Indian fishermen last year, had been given permission to fly to Italy to cast their votes in the election on the understanding that they would return.

But the Italian government announced last week that it would renege on its commitment to send the men back, prompting fury in New Delhi.


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