External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday met her Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni and discussed cooperation in key areas of trade and counter- terrorism, the first high-level contact between the two countries after the UN court’s verdict on the Italian marines issue.
In the meeting, Swaraj, who is leading a 12-member delegation that attended the canonisation ceremony of Mother Teresa today, and Gentiloni expressed their satisfaction on the first high-level bilateral meeting after a "considerable period", according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
"They reviewed the state of bilateral relations and discussed the future roadmap of cooperation in trade and investment, science and technology, counter terrorism, cultural exchange and other areas of mutual interest," the MEA said.
They also agreed to expand cooperation between Italy and India in multilateral fora, it said.
The relationship between India and Italy soured after India detained Italian marines — Salvatore Girone and Massimiliano Latorre — on charges of murdering two Indian fishermen off Kerala coast in 2012.
Unsatisfied with Indian judicial process, Italy moved the UN Tribunal, which in May this year allowed Girone to return pending the trial. Latorre is already in Italy on health grounds.
During the meeting today, Swaraj also conveyed her deep condolences for the recent earthquake in central Italy that caused a lot of destruction and claimed many innocent lives.