Egypt Threatens That Italian Decision to Halt Military Supplies Will Affect Cooperation Between Both Countries

Egypt expressed its anger from the Italian Senate decision to halt the supply of fighter jets to Egypt in the light of Giulio Regeni’s murder.

Egypt said it “regrets” a decision by the Italian parliament to suspend the supply of military spare parts to Cairo, saying it will “negatively affect cooperation in the field of countering illegal immigration in the Mediterranean and dealing with the situation in Libya and other fields where Italy has received Egyptian support,” according to Al-Ahram(state owned newspaper).

Egypt’s foreign ministry said in an official statement that the decision was inconsistent with demands for continuing cooperation between the investigating authorities in the two countries on the Guilio Regini incident.

The statement added that the Italian decision was also contrary to the mutual goal of fighting terrorism, due to its negative effect on Egypt in that field.

In addition, the official statement defended the Egyptian stance saying that the Italian side was handed documents and investigation results by the Egyptian side in full transparency while this wasn’t the case with the Egyptian demands regarding two Egyptian citizens in Italy.

The FM statement accused the Italian side of non cooperating with the Egyptian side regarding the case of two Egyptian citizens in Italy saying, “This took place at the same time where Egypt has not yet received enough answers over the killing of Egyptian citizen Mohamed Baher Sobhi Ibrahim Ali and the disappearance of Adel Mouawad Heikel in Italy.”

The ministry said it was also “astonished” that the Italian parliament failed to criticise or take action against Cambridge University for not cooperating with Italian authorities.

It remains unclear what procedures might be taken by Egypt in response for the Italian decision. However, the statement said that Egypt would always remain keen on its “special relationship with Italy,” hoping that Italy shows the same care and diligence.

In the same context, the head of the Egyptian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee and former foreign minister Mohamed El-Oraby described the Italian decision as an unjustified escalation.

El-Oraby said that it was better that if the investigations related to Regeni were separate from the course of relationships between the two countries.

Last week, Italy’s Senate voted to halt supplies of spare parts for Egypt’s American-made F16 warplanes in protest at Cairo’s handling of the investigation into the killing of Regeni, whose body was found by a Cairo roadside in February bearing signs of torture.

The Italian move is considered the first commercial measure taken by Italy against Egypt over the issue after the recall of the Italian ambassador in April.