Italy’s foreign minister said Friday that Rome wanted Britain to communicate further details on its failed Nigeria rescue bid “in the next hours”.
Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata said after talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague that “I insisted that the information we have requested be sent to us as soon as possible, in the coming hours”.
A diplomatic row has broken out over the deaths of two hostagesafter the Italian president claimed that the British government had not told Rome of the rescue operation. Branding the situation “inexplicable”, Giorgio Napolitano said that the Italian government was not informed or consulted about the botched mission to rescue Briton Chris McManus and Italian Franco Lamolinara. He called for a political and diplomatic explanation from the UK. He said that the Italian government was “informed” but didn’t specifically “approve” the rescue mission adding that the mission was launched after specific intelligence that the hostages were to be moved and killed. “We contacted the Italians yesterday as the operation was getting under way, but this was a very fast-moving situation,” Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman told reporters in London.