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EU urges 'common solution' to India-Italy row

Brussels: The European Union has said it hoped for a 'common solution' to the dispute between India and Italy over Rome's decision not to return the marines who are facing trial in New Delhi for killing two Indian fishermen.

"The EU is taking note of the disputes between India and Italy and continues to hope that a common solution can be reached through negotiation," Catherine Ashton, a spokesperson for EU foreign affairs representative, was quoted as saying by Italian newspaper Gazzetta del Sud on Friday.

ItalianMarines_AP

The two Italian Marines who have refused to come back to India. AP

India and Italy are in the midst of a diplomatic row after Rome reneged on its commitment to send back its two marines, who were allowed by the Supreme Court on February 22 to go to Italy for four weeks for voting in election.

India is in the process of downgrading its diplomatic ties and decided not to post the Ambassador-designate to Rome who was to assume the charge by next week.

The Indian government had this week announced decision to initiate review of entire gamut of relations with Italy which includes diplomatic, trade and defence ties apart from reaching out to the European Union, which was briefed on India's views and position in the matter.

The marines face trial in a special Indian court for shooting and killing two Indian fisherman - Jelestine Valentine and Ajesh Binki - while guarding an Italian oil tanker off the coast of Kerala last February.

The Italian government claims India does not have jurisdiction in the case as the incident took place in international waters.

PTI