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Krishna seeks full cooperation from Italian authorities in fishermen killing case

February 19, 2012 - Bangalore /Kochi

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna sought full cooperation from his Italian counterpart and Italian authorities with the law enforcement agencies of Kerala for probing the matter of shooting two fishermen off southern coast by crew of Italian vessel 'Enrica Lexie'.

Krishna on Sunday told mediapersons that he is in touch with his Italian counterpart and has advised the Italian authorities to fully cooperate with the law enforcement agencies in Kerala.

"Well, I have been in touch with the Italian Foreign Minister, I am in touch with the Kerala chief minister and the law of the land will have to take it own course and we have advised the Italian authorities that they should fully cooperate with the law enforcement agencies in Kerala, so that an amicable settlement can be arrived at between our two countries," Krishna said in Bangalore.

"Needless for me to say that we have excellent cordial relationship with Italy and it is government of India's intension that we would like to continue those cordial relations with Italy. I am expecting the Foreign Minister of Italy to come to India on a bilateral visit on February 28. I am looking forward to his visit," he added.

Two fishermen were killed when a navy security team on the Italian merchant vessel opened fire on a boat mistaking it for pirates at sea off the coast of Kerala on Wednesday.

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 ambassador was summoned to a meeting with a senior official at the Foreign office to explain what had happened on Wednesday night.

Italian navy had earlier claimed the fishing boat had approached the Napoli-registered vessel Enrica Lexie in an aggressive manner.


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