Head of parliament Ali Abdul-Aal will hold an urgent meeting this week with the parliamentary committees of foreign relations, defence and national security, and human rights to discuss Egyptian-Italian relations, member of parliament Tarek Al-Khouly told Daily News Egypt.
The meeting will mainly focus on the decision of their Italian counterparts to halt military aid to Egypt, which came as part of the repercussions following the still unsolved murder of student Giulio Regeni in Cairo.
Al-Khouly told Daily News Egypt that the meeting will discuss the Italians’ escalation, ways to improve the situation, and future plans to advance it.
He added that the Italian side’s decision is unjustified, especially as investigations into Regeni’s murder are ongoing. He added that many Italian nationals have disappeared or were killed in tragic accidents in other European countries, but Italy had not taken similar actions against these countries.
MP Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat also rejected the decision saying that this escalation is against the interest of both countries, especially as there are several agreements and cooperation protocols in various fields between Egypt and Italy. This decision will threaten this relation.
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. They will also attempt to hold bilateral talks with their Italian counterparts regarding the recent suspension of military aid.
Al-Khouly said that it is yet to be confirmed whether the Egyptian delegation was able to meet the head of Italian parliament and head of Italian senate to discuss the issue.
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.