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Foreign minister Giulio Terzi resigned unexpectedly on March 26 following a diplomatic row with India over the extradition of two Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen who they mistook for pirates attacking a ship they were escorting in the Indian ocean.

Terzi said he did not agree with the move to send back the men, which reversed an earlier decision by the Italian government. This refusal had sparked an angry response from New Dehli.

Premier Mario Monti and President Giorgio Napolitano expressed frustration at his resignation, which comes amid the ongoing political uncertainty following the recent indecisive election result, and suspicion that Terzi is aiming to exploit popular anger at the extradition to further his political career.