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Normalisation of Rome-Cairo relations depends on 'serious Egypt collaboration on Regeni case: Italian FM

Italian Foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni says that Rome's Prosecutor office is restoring contact with its Cairo counterpart

Ahram Online , Friday 29 Apr 2016
Paolo Gentiloni
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni (AFP)
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Italy's Foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni on Friday urged Egypt to "collaborate seriously" in Giulio Regeni's murder probe so relations relations between the two states can normalise.

"For us, a return to normality of relations depends on serious collaboration on the Regeni's case" Gentiloni told Italy's RAI radio according to Italian news agency ANSA.

Italy recalled its ambassador to Egypt for consultations early April after two days of meetings between Italian and Egyptian investigators over the murder of the Italian PhD student whose body was found in Cairo in February.

The talks between the Egyptian investigative team and their Italian counterparts in Rome in early April failed after Egypt rejected an Italian request to look at "the call logs of thousands of phone numbers" in the area where Giulio Regeni disappeared on 25 January.

Egyptian officials said handing such information to Italy was "illegal and unconstitutional" according to local rules.

Meanwhile, Egyptian authortities continue their investigation into Regeni's murder, saying the complexities of cicumstances around his disappearance and subsequent death are to blame for any delay in finding the culprits.

During the interview, the Italian Foreign minister revealed that Prosecutor's office in Rome sent a new request for information to Cairo and that that contact with Cairo's prosecutor office has been restored.

Nevertheless, Italy still maintains its position of "dissatisfaction", he added.

He also said that he discussed Regeni's case with EU foreign ministers about during their latest meeting in Luxemburg.

The PhD student, who was in Cairo conducting research on independent trade unions, went missing on 25 January. His body was found, bearing signs of torture, by a roadside on the outskirts of Cairo on 3 February.

Egypt has strongly denied local and international claims that security forces were involved in Regeni's murder.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has blamed international criticism of Egypt's handling of the investigation into Regini's murder on what he described as domestic lies. 

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