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MEA unamused by Ferrari's show of support for Italy marines

The Ministry of External Affairs has reacted with disapproval to a plan by Ferrari who have said that they will race with the flag of the Italian navy on their cars at this weekend’s Indian Formula One Grand Prix in a gesture of support for two Italian sailors charged with killing Indian fishermen.

The Italian team said on their website on Wednesday they would be paying tribute to the navy as “one of the outstanding entities of our country”.

Reuters

The statement added the gesture was “also in the hope the Indian and Italian authorities will soon find a solution to the situation currently involving two sailors from the Italian navy”.

However the MEA has said that it was 'improper' to mix sports with a judicial matter.

The marines in question were part of a military security team protecting a cargo ship from pirate attacks when they fired on the boat of the two fishermen off the Indian coast in February.

Italian officials say the sailors, who were released on bail in June in the western state of Kerala to await trial, mistook the fishermen for pirates.

The case has caused outrage in India and soured relations with Italy, which says the detained sailors are military personnel who should be tried at home.

Italy recalled its envoy from New Delhi in May to signal the country’s “strong displeasure” with the Indian government’s handling of the incident.

With inputs from Reuters