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Egypt 'regrets' Italy's suspension of military supplies over Regeni death

It is unclear if Egypt will take action in retribution against the Italian move

Ahram Online , Thursday 7 Jul 2016
Same Shoukry
File Photo: Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt “regrets” a decision by the Italian parliament to suspend the supply of military spare parts to Cairo, saying it will “negatively affect cooperation in the field of countering illegal immigration in the Mediterranean and dealing with the situation in Libya and other fields where Italy has received Egyptian support.”

In an official statement Wednesday, Egypt’s foreign ministry said the decision was inconsistent with demands for continuing cooperation between the investigating authorities in the two countries on the Giulio Regeni incident.

Last week, Italy’s Senate voted to halt supplies of spare parts for Egypt's American-made F16 warplanes in protest at Cairo’s handling of the investigation into the killing of Regeni, whose body was found by a Cairo roadside in February bearing signs of torture.

The Italian move is considered the first commercial measure taken by Italy against Egypt over the issue.

The statement added that the Italian decision was also contrary to the mutual goal of fighting terrorism, due to its negative effect on Egypt in that field.

The foreign ministry added that the Italian side was handed documents and investigation results by the Egyptian side in full transparency, while "This took place at the same time where Egypt has not yet received enough answers over the killing of Egyptian citizen Mohamed Baher Sobhi Ibrahim Ali and the disappearance of Adel Mouawad Heikel in Italy.”

The ministry said it was “astonished” that the Italian parliament failed to criticise or take action against Cambridge University for not cooperating with Italian authorities.

It remains unclear what procedures might Egypt take in retribution for the Italian decision. However, the statement said that Egypt would always remain keen on its “special relationship with Italy,” hoping that Italy shows the same care and diligence.  

The head of the Egyptian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee and former foreign minister Mohamed El-Oraby described the Italian decision as an unjustified escalation, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported on Wednesday.

El-Oraby preferred if the investigations related to Regeni were separate from the course of relationships between the two countries.

 

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