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India to downgrade ties with Italy, won’t send ambassador

India to downgrade ties with Italy, won’t send ambassador
Against the backdrop of airports across India being put on alert to prevent Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving the country, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Friday said the orders of the Supreme Court will be complied with by all government agencies.

Besides downgrading its diplomatic ties with Italy, the government has also asked its ambassador-designate to that country Basant Kumar Gupta, who was scheduled to leave for Rome on Friday, not to proceed. The government, which is reviewing the entire gamut of bilateral ties, has decided to withhold the posting of Gupta, who was expected to take charge by end of next week. The downgrading of ties could affect bilateral economic and social relations between the two nations.

‘The Supreme Court order will be complied with by all government agencies,’ Khurshid told reporters outside Parliament House on Friday in response to questions on the issue. He said the matter will come up before the apex court again on Monday and ‘we will know then exactly what is the next step that should be taken.

Meanwhile, the decision to alert the airports was taken by the Union Home Ministry a day after the apex court restrained the Italian Ambassador from leaving India without its permission.

The court had taken exception to Italian government’s refusal to send back two marines charged with the killing of two Indian fishermen. The two marines were allowed by the court to go to Italy to cast their votes in the elections there after the Italian Ambassador had given an assurance to send them back.
MPost

MPost

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