Amid commemorations for their war dead Italy and the US have tried to repair relations strained over the killing of an Italian intelligence agent by American soldiers in Iraq.
The ceremony in Nettuno, which was attended by the US ambassador, came just hours before the Italian government was due to publish its report on the shooting. Rome has refused to accept a US inquiry which cleared its troops of any wrongdoing. Pierferdinando Casini, the speaker of the Italian parliament’s lower house, said the government’s report was reached “in the name of truth, clarity and mutual loyalty.” He said that was the only way that what he called “martyrs of freedom” could be rightfully honoured. The agent, Nicola Calipari, was killed while escorting Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena out of Iraqi. She had just been released by her kidnappers and was being driven to Baghdad airport when US troops opened fire in disputed circumstances. The American report into the incident angered many Italians and intensified calls for the country’s troops to be withdrawn from Iraq. The government said its forces would not be brought home but the affair has severely tested relations between the two allies.