'Foreign elements' seek to exploit Regeni case to disrupt Egyptian-Italian relations: Egyptian MP

Gamal Essam El-Din , Thursday 6 Dec 2018

MP Kamal Amer says that Italy's chamber of deputies made a mistake by suspending relations with Egypt's parliament

Kamal Amer, chairman of the Egyptian parliament's defence and national committee and former head of military intelligence, has accused "some foreign elements hostile to Egypt" of trying to disrupt Egyptian-Italian relations.

Amer, in an interview with Al-Ahram Arabic news website, said that "Egyptian-Italian relations are historical, but some parties that hate Egypt are trying to exploit the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo in 2016 to disrupt the relations between Egypt and Italy."

Regeni, 28, was an Italian student who was killed in Cairo while conducting research for his thesis on the country's trade unions.

Amer insisted that the recent decision by the speaker of the Italian parliament to suspend relations with Egypt's House of Representatives, on the grounds that the investigation into the Regeni case was taking too long, was premature.

Amer said that Egypt is a state of institutions that has laws that clearly respect human rights.

"It is also a state that boasts an independent judiciary that is trying its best to unravel the mystery of Regeni's killing and bring the murderers to justice," Amer said, adding that "Egypt's prosecutor-general has been keen at all times to inform his Italian counterpart of the latest developments in the investigation into the murder of Regeni."

However, Amer said "some parties are doing their best to disrupt relations between Egypt on one side and friendly countries like Italy on the other side."

"Please be sure that the Egyptian state is keen to reveal the truth about the murder and bring the killers to justice."

Amer said there are strong economic relations between Egypt and Italy, especially in the oil sector, and that the Italian company Eni has many investments in Egypt.

"[Egyptian] President El-Sisi's foreign policy is also based on keeping excellent relations with all European countries, particularly Italy," said Amer.

Amer also said that he has a message for the Italian government.

"Please be careful, there are some foreign elements that hate the growth in economic business relations between Egypt and Italy, and they are trying to disrupt these relations in the same way they tried to exploit the crash of a Russian plane in Sinai in 2015 to disrupt relations between Cairo and Moscow," said Amer, adding that "Egypt will never be intimidated by these hateful foreign elements or be economically strangled by their conspiracies." 

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