He carried messages from marines' families

Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Giulio Terzi started his visit to Kochi on Tuesday on a guarded note, taking care not to interact with the Indian media.

He reached the airport here in the evening, along with an official delegation comprising top businessmen and mediapersons.

“The Minister will interact with the media only after meeting the arrested marines, to put things in the right context,” Staffan de Mistura, Deputy Foreign Minister, told The Hindu, as the team waited for Mr. Terzi in the lobby of a hotel.

Giacomo Sanfelice de Monteforte, Italian Ambassador to India, and Giampaolo Cutillo, Consul-General in Mumbai, were present at the hotel along with Mr. de Mistura.

Sources within the Italian team said the Minister was carrying messages from the families of the arrested marines. Earlier, there were reports that the delegation might include members of the families.

Mr. Terzi came out soon after to meet the marines at the CISF Guest House, with the local and Italian media contingent trailing him closely. He spent nearly 10 minutes with the marines.

The Protocol Officer had requested the local police to prevent the Indian media from posing questions to Mr. Terzi. However, he briefed the Italian media inside the hotel after the visit late in the night. Reporters from three television channels, two news agencies, one radio channel, and a daily are part of the delegation.

The Italian team will leave for Hanoi in Vietnam on Wednesday morning. Hugo, a reporter with Milan, a financial daily, said the delegation came to New Delhi from Brussels after a visit to the United Nations at Geneva.

After Vietnam, the team will visit Singapore and Turkey before returning home.