Italy Foreign Minister Quits After Soldiers Returned to India

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi resigned after failing to prevent his government from returning two soldiers to India to face charges of murder.

“I can no longer take part in this government,” Terzi said today in a speech in Italy’s lower house of parliament in Rome. “The doubts I expressed about the return of the marines to India didn’t have any effect.”

Terzi was applauded in the Chamber of Deputies, reflecting the unpopularity of the government’s decision on March 21 to send Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone back to India to resolve a diplomatic standoff. That move came less than two weeks after Prime Minister Mario Monti’s administration said on March 11 the two soldiers would remain in Italy.

“The honor of our country, of the armed forces and Italian diplomacy, diplomacy that has made extraordinary sacrifices, must be safeguarded,” Terzi said.

Monti will speak tomorrow in parliament, Chamber Speaker Laura Boldrini said after representatives of various parties called on the premier to appear.

The men at the center of the case were charged with shooting dead two fishermen in February 2012, while they were guarding an Italian-flagged tanker from pirate attacks. The Supreme Court of India in February allowed the marines to leave the country to vote in Italy’s election after assurances by

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