Washington and Rome remain at loggerheads over the killing of an Italian agent by US soldiers during a hostage rescue drama in Iraq.
Neither side could agree on conclusions in a joint report. “The tragic event will not hurt the long-standing friendship between the US and Italy or the commitment of the US and Italy to work together as allies helping the people of Iraq,” said a US state department spokesman. The Italians however say there is no way they can endorse the US version of events. “The Italian government could not be expected to sign a reconstruction of events that doesn’t correspond with the reality of the evidence,” said Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini. Rome and Washington can’t agree on how fast Nicola Calipari’s car was travelling when he was shot and whether the Italians kept the US soldiers at the checkpoint concerned informed of their movements. A murder investigation has been opened in Italy into Calipari’s death. The agent has become a national hero for dying as he saved journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who had just been released by her kidnappers.