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India, Italy express satisfaction at renewed momentum in ties

India and Italy expressed satisfaction at the renewed momentum in bilateral relations thanks to regular high level exchanges and shared commitment of both sides to further intensify cooperation in a wide range of areas.

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New Delhi: India and Italy expressed satisfaction at the renewed momentum in bilateral relations thanks to regular high level exchanges and shared commitment of both sides to further intensify cooperation in a wide range of areas.

This was conveyed during the 8th session of the India-Italy Foreign Office Consultations held in Rome on Monday. At the talks, led by Reenat Sandhu, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, and Luca Sabbatucci, Director General for Global Affairs in Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy, both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations including cooperation in the political, trade & economic, defence, science & technology, energy, health, consular and cultural spheres. The last FOC was held in 2019 in New Delhi.

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They took stock of the progress in implementation of the Plan of Action agreed during the virtual summit in November 2020 and welcomed the Strategic Partnership on Energy Transition launched by the two Prime Ministers in October 2021 – on the sidelines of the G20 – which offers fresh opportunities for deepening our multi faceted ties. These initiatives have added new content and vigor to India-Italy relations, said an official statement.

The two sides also discussed India-EU relations and agreed on the need to commence negotiations on the India-EU Free Trade and Investment Agreements at the earliest. India welcomed Italy’s interest in the implementation of the EU’s Indo-Pacific guidelines and the India-EU connectivity partnership.

The discussions also covered regional and global issues of mutual interest, including multilateral cooperation at various international fora. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing consultation and cooperation bilaterally and in regional and multilateral context. The talks were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere. Both sides agreed to hold the next consultations at a mutually convenient date in New Delhi.

The talks come months after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Rome in October last year for the G20, when he held his first in-person meeting with his Italian counterpart Mario Draghi. Also earlier this month, a case against the two Italian marines in the killing of two Indian fishermen in 2012 came to an end with a court in Rome dismissing murder investigations against the two men — over seven months after India’s Supreme Court closed all proceedings pending in India in the case.

Italian Defence Minister Lorenzo Guerini welcomed the “positive outcome” for Master Sergeant Massimiliano Latorre and Sergeant Major Salvatore Girone, with the closure, adding that it has brought a years-long event to an end.

The killing of the two Indian fishermen and the long drawn court proceedings had adversely affected ties between the two nations. In 2015, Italy had taken the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, which ruled last year that the marines were entitled to immunity. 

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