Rome

Mario Monti sworn in as interim foreign minister

Caretaker premier steps in after foreign minister steps down

Mario Monti sworn in as interim foreign minister

Rome, March 27 - Italian caretaker premier Mario Monti was sworn in as temporary foreign minister on Wednesday, after ex-minister Giulio Terzi stepped down over a furore due to the handling of two Italian marines charged with killing two fishermen on an anti-piracy mission off the coast of India last year. Terzi stunned parliament Tuesday by saying he was quitting because Monti sent the marines back to trial in India against his wishes. Terzi initially reneged on a pledge to return the two men before a government U-turn sparked by an escalating diplomatic tussle in which India blocked the Italian ambassador from leaving the country. Monti will not have the dual roles for long because Italy is set for a new government or a return to the polls after last month's inconclusive general election.

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