Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant'Agata said Tuesday he was resigning after being overruled on the return to India of two marines who are facing a murder trial, DPA reported.
"I resign in disagreement with the decision to send the marines back to India. The reservations I expressed did not have any effect," Terzi said in parliament.
"My voice remained unheard," Terzi said, signalling that he was quitting to defend the "reputation" of the nation, of its diplomacy and of its army, as well as in "solidarity" with the two marines and their families.
Defence Minister Giampaolo Di Paola, who also spoke in parliament, refused to follow in Terzi's footsteps. "It would be easy, but it would not be right and I will not do it," he said.