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Bonino says EU, NATO and UN must help with marines

Growing international pressure on India to deal with Italians

18 February, 14:52
Bonino says EU, NATO and UN must help with marines (see related) (ANSA) - Rome, February 18 - Pressures from important international institutions is growing on India as it continues to delay the case of two Italian marines accused of killing two fishermen while on anti-piracy duty two years ago, Foreign Affairs Minister Emma Bonino said Tuesday.

The case is "not bilateral" but has international importance and thus, requires a coordinated response, Bonino said in an interview with Rai News.

Shortly after India's Supreme Court again adjourned the marines case, Bonino said she had spoken with European Union officials earlier in the day and now wanted to "strengthen" support on the case from the NATO military alliance and the United Nations.

She said she was even considering asking the Commonwealth group of countries to take an interest.

Formerly known as the British Commonwealth, the body includes more than 50 nations, most of which were former colonies of the British empire, including India.

Marines Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre "cannot be victims of delays and complexities" amid continued uncertainty whether India will press terrorism charges. Italy has already said it will try to resort to international arbitration and Bonino said other options "are up to the new government" of Matteo Renzi, expected to be sworn in as Italian premier at the end of this week.

These may include freezing bilateral accords and pulling soldiers from anti-piracy missions, observers said.

Senior EU officials have said that the case has important implications for the fight against piracy.