No country should take India for granted: Sonia Gandhi on Italian marines issue

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No country should take India for granted: Sonia Gandhi on Italian marines issue
New Delhi:  Slamming Italy for its refusal to send back the two marines charged in the fishermen killing case, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today asserted that no country will be allowed to take India for granted.

"The defiance of the Italian government on the question of the two marines and its betrayal of a commitment to our Supreme Court is outright unacceptable," Mrs Gandhi said, addressing a meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP).

"No country can, should, or will be allowed to take India for granted. All means must be pursued to ensure that the commitment made by the Italian government to our Supreme Court is honoured," she said in four-page speech.

Her remarks are significant as Congress was under attack from the Opposition, which alluding to Mrs Gandhi's Italian origin, has been targeting the government questioning why accused having links with Italy escape Indian laws starting from the time of the Bofors scandal.

Sources in the party have maintained that the Congress president was keen that the government did not appear soft on the Italian marines issue.

Taking a tough stand, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had accused Italy of violating "every rule of diplomatic discourse" and asked it to send back the two marines undergoing trial for killing Indian fishermen, failing which there will be consequences on bilateral ties.

The marines - Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone - charged for killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February last year in an anti-piracy operation, were permitted by the apex court on February 22 to go to Italy for four weeks for voting in election.



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