Italy Withholds the Return of Its Ambassador to Egypt

The Italian Foreign Minister stated today that the Italian ambassador to Egypt will stay in Rome for the time being as there is tension between the two countries following the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo in late February.

Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said in a statement, “The government recalled the ambassador two months ago and this decision has not changed.” He added, “It’s a very serious initiative that I don’t think has a precedent. For the moment,we are sticking with this decision.In May, Italy appointed Giampaolo Cantini as the new ambassador to Egypt, but he has not been sent to Cairo to assume his post. In April ,Italy recalled its ambassador to Egypt for consultations after Cairo refused to submit information considered important and necessary for solving the mystery of Regeni’s murder.

The 28-years-old Cambridge Student was found tortured and murdered in a ditch on the road to Alexandria on February 3 after his disappearance on the anniversary of January 25 Revolution. An autopsy confirmed he had been severely tortured for days on end, and ultimately killed by having his neck broken. The Egyptian authorities have narrated and presented various explanations to the brutal incident that were not credible  to the Italian counterpart.

This week, the parents of the Ph.D. student said at the European Parliament’s human rights commission that Italy and Europe must up the pressure on Egypt to obtain a transparent probe into the death of Giulio Regeni, tortured and murdered in Cairo. Paola and Claudio Regeni said that EU member states must recall their ambassadors and declare Egypt an unsafe country. They said, “I don’t understand whether Italy is still a friend of Egypt or not: you don’t kill the children of your friend.”