Khurshid, Italian PM discuss marines

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had a hectic day at the Asia-Europe Meeting in Phnom Penh, where he met the prime ministers of Italy and Denmark, and had consultations with his Bangladeshi counterpart.

The issue of Italian marines arrested for shooting two Kerala fishermen featured in Khurshid’s parleys with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, when the minister mentioned that the court decision was awaited.  “It is well known that Indian judiciary is fair, free and reasonable,” an official release quoted him as saying.

He stressed the need to move forward on the extradition of Purulia arms drop accused Kim Davy from Denmark when he met the country’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. The prime minister acknowledged that the issue needs to be addressed but promised that Denmark would undertake a techno-legal examination of the issue and initiate discussions.

His talks with Bangladeshi counterpart Dipu Moni was wide-ranging, covering all important aspects of the bilateral relations. Khurshid agreed to visit Dhaka for the Joint Consultative Committee Meeting next year, the dates for which would be finalised through diplomatic channels.

Khurshid also had bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of Switzerland, Norway and New Zealand.    

Meanwhile, the External Affairs Ministry on Tuesday announced that Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, United Kingdom, William Hague will be on an official visit to India from November 7 to 9.

 During his stay in New Delhi, Hague will hold talks with Khurshid and both sides are expected to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.

“India and the UK enjoy strategic partnership since 2004 which has been marked by regular high level exchanges and growing cooperation in diverse areas,” the release said, adding that bilateral relations go beyond trade and commerce with increasing focus on cooperation in other fields.

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