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Kochi fishermen killing: MEA summons Italian ambassador


February 19, 2012 - New Delhi

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Sunday summoned Italian ambassador Giacomo Sanfelice Di Monteforte seeking cooperation over recent killing of Indian fishermen by Italian vessel crew off the Kochi shores.

Italian delegates spent considerable time at the ministry's South Block office in New Delhi during which they were told to cooperate with Indian officials.

"We will report back to our capital, a communique would be issued," said Monteforte, emerging out of the meeting.

Indian Foreign Minister S M Krishna on Saturday sought full cooperation from his Italian counterpart and Italian authorities with the law enforcement agencies of Kerala.

"We have also explained to them that as good partners and as the External Affairs Minister has requested yesterday we hope that Italy would cooperate with us in ensuring that the law of the land takes its course," said Syed Akbaruddin, MEA spokesperson.

Two Indian fishermen were killed when a navy security team on an Italian merchant vessel, 'Enrica Lexie' opened fire on a fishing boat it mistook for pirates at sea off the coast of Kochi in Kerala, officials said on Thursday.

A case of murder had been registered against the crew. The Captain of the Italian ship as well as the guards had earlier refused to surrender, saying that the incident had occurred in the international waters.

Italy's Navy had earlier said the fishing boat had approached the Napoli-registered vessel Enrica Lexie in an aggressive manner.

ANI

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