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EU suggests 'bilateral track' to resolve India-Italy row

 BRUSSELS/COPENHAGEN, March 10 (IANS): European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has said the EU is "ready to work closely" to help resolve the issue of two Italian soldiers jailed in India for killing two Indian fishermen.

"In terms of what happened in India I've already had conversations with the Italian government, my door is always open, we're always ready to support," she told journalists Friday at an informal gathering of EU foreign ministers in Copenhagen.

"For many countries often there is a bilateral track that is pursued and can be successful," she advised.

"But the EU and the (EU) delegation on the ground (in New Delhi) and myself are always there, and I've already discussed this with the government and we're ready to work closely to see what we can do," she added.

The foreign ministers of the 27-member European Union are meeting in Copenhagen as Denmark holds the current six-month rotating EU presidency, EuAsiaNews reported.

Last Monday, a court in the southern Indian state of Kerala ordered the two Italian soldiers to be moved to jail from a guest house as investigation continues into last month's killing of two Indian fishermen at sea.

The Italian soldiers face charges of shooting dead the two fishermen who were mistaken for pirates trying to attack an oil tanker that the Italians were protecting.

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