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Egypt's Sisi to La Repubblica: I understand the pain felt by Regeni's family

The president says Cairo is doing its utmost to bring Regeni's killers to justice, but cautioned against those who want to upset the close relationship between Egypt and Italy

Ahram Online , Wednesday 16 Mar 2016
Sisi-Italian press
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during the interview with Italian daily "La Repubblica" (Photo:Egyptian Presidency)
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In an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi described the death of Italian student Giulio Regeni as "terrifying" and "unacceptable," saying that the Egyptian authorities spared no effort while working with the Italian authorities to identify the perpetrators.

"I want to speak to the Regeni family as a father [not as] a president to stress that I fully understand the pain, bitterness, and shock they are feeling by losing their son," El-Sisi told La Repubblica in the interview, which was published on Wednesday.

El-Sisi stated that the Egyptian people were shocked by this incident and that Regeni's murder was "unacceptable and an individual act that no other Italian has ever faced in Egypt."

"I confirm that we will spare no efforts and continue to work with the Italian authorities to arrest the perpetrators, so that they can be punished according to the law."

Earlier in the week, the European Parliament urged Cairo to cooperate with Italy in a "swift, transparent, and impartial joint investigation" to apprehend Giulio's killers.

On Monday, Egyptian prosecutors hosted Roma's prosecutor-general in Cairo to share updates on the ongoing investigation.

The body of the 28-year-old PhD student, who was conducting research on independent trade union movements in Egypt, was found with signs of torture on a roadside on the outskirts of Cairo early in February, nine days after he disappeared on 25 January.

During the interview, El-Sisi revealed that the Egyptian investigation team from the general prosecution working on the case would head to Rome in the upcoming days to discuss further cooperation with their Italian counterparts.

However, the Egyptian president also raised questions about "the timing of Regeni's murder." 

"Why did it happen when bilateral relations were gathering unprecedented momentum both politically and economically? Are there any beneficiaries who seek to impede relations?"

El-Sisi also reminded the Italian reporters that an Egyptian citizen has been missing in Italy since last October. 

"I would like to refer to the disappearance of the Egyptian citizen and Italian resident, Mr. Adel Moad since last October, without unravelling the causes of his disappearance or who is behind it have not been determined yet."

The president stressed that what he described as individual acts should not be exploited to "undermine bilateral relations." 

The Egyptian president also touched on the region's war on terrorism.

"Terrorism in Egypt is related to the crisis in the region — Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Mali, Somalia, and Nigeria. This is why we need a global strategy and not just individual efforts by some countries."

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