Italian PM Gentiloni hopes to relaunch ties with New Delhi amid official visit
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Monday (October 30) said he hopes to relaunch ties with New Delhi. He was speaking on the sidelines of a ceremonial welcome at ‘Rashtrapati Bhavan’ — the official residence of the president — and met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Bilateral relations between the two countries were frosty in recent years, after two Indian fishermen were allegedly shot in 2012 by two Italian marines, who were protecting a merchant ship and mistook them for pirates.
Last year, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in Italy’s favour and asked India to release one of the Italian marines detained in the Italian Embassy in New Delhi. The other marine had already returned to Italy due to health problems.
Gentiloni said India and Italy share common interests in the global arena. The Italian prime minister also paid tribute to India’s iconic freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial.
Gentiloni met Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj before heading to delegation-level talks with Modi. The two leaders are expected to make a joint statement later in the day. His two-day visit is the first by an Italian prime minister in a decade.