A delegation from the Egyptian parliament is currently in Rome to attend a Euro-Mediterranean parliamentary assembly, where they will review an initiative related to fighting terrorism.
Mohamed Al-Orabi, one of the delegation members and head of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, told Daily News Egypt that the delegation is mainly visiting Rome for this forum.
“However, the fact that this forum is being held in Rome is an opportunity for the Egyptian delegation to hold bilateral talks with their Italian counterparts,” he said, regarding a decision they ratified earlier on banning military aid to Egypt.
The Italian Senate voted in late June to stop the supply of F-16 fighter jet spare parts being delivered to Egypt in the first “pressure signal” as part of the repercussions following the ambiguous murder of student Giulio Regeni in Cairo, Italian news agency ANSA reported.
The decision sparked discontent from parliamentary members, including speaker Ali Abdul Aal, who expressed hope that the crisis will resolve and positive bilateral relations will resume between the two states.
“As parliamentarians, we do not have much to add in this regard as the case is still pending investigations,” Al-Orabi said. “However, we will highlight that this decision is unjustified and goes against the solid ties between both countries.”
According to Al-Orabi, there has been a clear intention to escalate this case from the beginning, making this decision somehow expected.
The death of the Italian researcher and PhD candidate in early February remains a mystery. His body was found in a ditch along the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road several days after he disappeared on the fifth anniversary of the 25 January Revolution.
The incident strained diplomatic relations between Egypt and Italy, leading to Italy recalling its ambassador in Cairo.
In recent months, several meetings between Egyptian and Italian prosecutors reportedly took place, but there have been no significant outcomes regarding Regeni’s murder and its perpetrators.