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Monday, 16 December 2019

Egypt parliament decides not to adopt 'rough ‎diplomacy' with Italy over Regeni case

Three of Egyptian parliament's committees said ‎Monday that a crisis management group was formed ‎in a bid to contain tension with Italy over the killing ‎of Italian graduate student Giulio Regeni in January

Gamal Essam El-Din , Monday 18 Jul 2016
Regeni Memorial
File Photo: People attend a memorial for Guilio Regeni outside the Italian embassy in Cairo, Egypt, February 6, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)
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After a two-hour meeting on Monday, an joint Egyptian parliamentary committee said it will refrain ‎from adopting a "confrontational stand" against Italy ‎following the nation's hostile reaction to Egypt in the aftermath of ‎the killing of Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo ‎last January.‎

Kamal Amer, chairman of the joint committee, said ‎the Monday meeting recommended that the Egyptian government should maintain a kind of "soft ‎diplomacy" in dealing with "the Regeni crisis."

"In ‎the short term we decided that 'rough diplomacy' or ‎‎'a confrontational stand' should be ruled out in ‎favor of adopting soft diplomacy," said Amer, the ‎former chief of Egyptian military intelligence.‎

The meeting was attended by Mohamed Anwar Al-‎Sadat, head of the Human Rights Committee, ‎Mohamed Al-Orabi, head of the Foreign Affairs Ccommittee, and Amer, head of the National Security ‎and Defence Committee.

The meeting also included ‎the deputy interior minister, representatives from the interior ministry's departments of National Security ‎and General Security, representatives from the ‎Justice Ministry, the prosecution general and the ‎intelligence apparatus.‎

Amer said the participants in the meeting put ‎forward proposals aimed at containing the ‎Regeni crisis.

"They all agreed that these proposals ‎should be based on quiet and soft diplomacy," said ‎Amer, adding that "it was also agreed that a crisis ‎management group be formed to follow up the ‎developments of the Regeni crisis."

"The joint ‎parliamentary committee would also become a fact-‎finding parliamentary committee to be tasked with ‎holding periodical meetings and gathering ‎information from prosecution authorities in charge ‎of investigating the Regeni case," Amer continued.‎

Amer disclosed that "parliament will keep in touch ‎with prosecution authorities in charge of ‎investigating the Regeni case to get firsthand official ‎information about it."

"All authorities entrusted with ‎investigating this case should know that parliament ‎now has a fact-finding committee on the Regeni case ‎and it has the right to get all necessary available ‎and transparent information on it," said Amer.‎

Amer also indicated that the committee proposed ‎that Egyptian parliamentary delegations pay visits to ‎European parliaments to discuss the Regeni case.

"We proposed that Egyptian ‎parliamentary delegations visit some European ‎parliaments in Italy, France, England, and Greece," ‎said Amer. "The fact-finding committee ‎will be also tasked with assuring whether Italy ‎intends to maintain its recent decision not to supply ‎Egypt with spare parts [for] F-16 fighter ‎aircraft."‎

Margaret Azer, deputy chairman of the human rights ‎committee, told reporters that the committee asked ‎officials representing the interior ministry questions ‎on the mystery surrounding 'the liquidation' of five ‎Egyptians accused of killing Regeni.

Azer, however, said the ‎information available about Regeni in not yet ‎complete. "Most of the information on this case ‎come from unreliable media sources," said Azer, ‎adding that she advised that statements from Egypt ‎on the Regeni case do not only come in reaction to ‎Western media or Italian authorities.

"This was ‎clear in the reaction to the accusations leveled at the ‎interior ministry, all alleging that its officers had ‎killed Regeni," said Azer.‎

On Sunday, Mohamed Al-Orabi, chairman of the ‎Foreign Affairs Committee, told a meeting that he ‎advised his Italian counterpart to maintain open dialogue ‎with Egypt over the Regeni crisis rather than opt for ‎escalatory steps.

Al-Orabi indicated that during a ‎visit to Rome this last week, he urged the Italian side ‎to discuss ideas that were 'out of the box' and that ‎could unravel the mystery of the Regeni case. ‎

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