In a bid to end the diplomatic row between India and Italy, the Italian marines who are facing trial for killing two Indian fishermen will return to India by Friday.
Italy authorities on Thursday said that they decided to send the two marines, Massimiliano Lattore and Salvatore Girone, to face trial in India after they received a written assurance from the Indian government regarding the treatment and protection of the marines' fundamental rights.
"The Italian government requested and received written assurances from the Indian authorities regarding the treatment of the marines and the protection of their fundamental rights," the government said in a statement.
On Thursday, External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin posted a tweet saying, "Following diplomatic contacts #Italy informed that Marines will return to #India in accordance with timeline provided to Supreme Court."
The two Italian marines were arrested for the murder of two fishermen off the Kerala coast, while they were guarding an Italian oil tanker in February 2012. The marines claimed that they mistook the fishermen for pirates.
Recently, the Supreme Court gave permission to the marines to go home and vote in Italy's general election, after the Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini gave an undertaking to the court that the marines would return to India by 22 March.
But, on 11 March, the Italian foreign ministry announced that the marines will not be sent back to India, with Rome arguing that the shooting happened in international waters and India does not have jurisdiction to try the marines.
Italy's refusal to send back the marines sparked a diplomatic row between the two nations, with India warning Italy that they would face dire consequences if they do not send back the marines. The Supreme Court also restrained the Italian ambassador from leaving the country until 2 April.