The Union Government has today denied reports that said India was secretly negotiating a deal with Italian government so as to get an entry into the nuclear export regimes against freeing the Italian marines arrested in the Enrica Lexie case. The government has dismissed the suggestion that the two countries were working on a quid pro quo deal, by saying that these are two separate issues.
“It’s known that marines issue is in international arbitration under UNCLOS (the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea). They are two separate issues, each will be handled on its merits,” the External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson tweeted.
The two Italian marines were arrested in charges of killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast on Feb 15, 2012. Among them, Massimiliano Latorre is in Italy since the last September on medical grounds. Italy is working hard with efforts before the Supreme Court to allow Salvatore Girone, the other marine, also to return.
The apprehensions come in the wake of the veto action by Italy against India’s membership application to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). Italy is also a member of the other three nuclear export control regimes which includes Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and the Wassenaar Arrangement