London, April 11 - Outgoing Italian Premier Mario Monti on Thursday suggested relations with India were warming amid a row over two Italian marines on trial there for homicide. "India appreciated Italy's decision to send the two marines to India, after the Italian government received certain assurances," said Monti, speaking to journalists at a G8 summit of foreign ministers in London. Monti has been serving as interim foreign minister since Giulio Terzi resigned last month over the government's decision to return Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone to India to face charges of killing two fishermen, Valentine (aka Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki, after allegedly mistaking them for pirates while guarding a mercantile ship off the Kerala coast in February 2012. After a drawn-out diplomatic row, Rome agreed last month to hand over the men, whom India had temporarily paroled to vote in Italian elections, to Indian authorities. "The transparency of the Italian government has been appreciated as helpful to the course of this issue," Monti said in London. Italy still contests India's right to jurisdiction, given the incident took place in international waters, and has said it is open to third-party arbitration.
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di Giovanni Pastore