An Egyptian activist holds a poster calling for justice to be done in the case of the murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni -Cairo, Egypt, April 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany An Egyptian activist holds a poster calling for justice to be done in the case of the murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni -Cairo, Egypt, April 15, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Have Cairo and Rome moved past Regeni’s case?

Sun, Dec. 17, 2017
CAIRO – 17 December 2017: In light of the increasing cooperation between Italy and Egypt which is taking place lately, is it safe to assume that Italy has turned a new leaf with Egypt after relations became tumultuous following the baffling murder of Ph.D. candidate Giulio Regeni?

What Regeni’s case has come to so far
In terms of Regeni’s case, several steps have been taken; most recently the UK government has permitted the questioning of Maha Abdulrahman, who was Regeni’s dissertation advisor, according to the BBC.

“Dr Abdelrahman has agreed to be questioned next month,” the BBC reported on December 7. “Italian investigators want to examine her phone data for the period January 2015-February 2016, Italian media report.”

Previously, Vanity Fair, an Italian magazine, had revealed that Abdulrahman and Anne Alexander – Regeni’s second advisor – are closely tied with the Muslim Brotherhood and that they had used Regeni to gather information for MB-affiliated parties.

What relations between Rome and Cairo have come to
Several indicators point that relations between Egypt and Italy are returning to their norm again. Most activities between the two countries have resumed and trade volume has been increasing as well.

Ever since ambassadors have been reinstated in both countries, relations were said to resume again gradually. With the return of Italian Ambassador Giampaolo Cantini to Cairo, and Egyptian Ambassador Hesham Badr, both countries have since ensued exchanging pleasantries and have renewed ties in several fields, especially terrorism.

Both governments have outlined that they share a common interest in combating illegal immigration and cooperating in the energy sector. In the framework of cooperating in energy, the Italian company, Eni, has begun production in Zohr gas field in December 16. The gas field is now producing at a capacity of 350 million cubic feet a day, Petroleum Minister Tarek el-Molla said in a statement.

Furthermore, on November 20, Alessandro Decio, the CEO of SACE, an Italian export credit agency, that €8 million are available for investment in Egypt, especially in the sectors of infrastructure, transportation, energy and mining.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry had previously indicated that the partnership between Egypt and Italy is steadfast, since Italy presents to be a strong market for Egyptian tourism, while Egypt presents to be an attractive market for Italian incentives.

During a meeting with the Italian ambassador to Egypt on November 9, Agriculture Minister Abdel Moneim El Banna affirmed the importance of intensifying cooperation with Italy to increase trade exchange opportunities for agricultural crops between both countries. El Banna pointed out the importance of Trieste port as a gateway for Egyptian agricultural products into European countries. Similarly, he said, Egypt a gateway for Italian products to Africa.

Both countries seem to be experiencing a normal return of activities and cooperation. It seems that the hostility that had risen from Italy towards Egypt has soothed a bit amid promises made by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to do everything possible to bring the perpetrator of Regeni’s murder to justice.

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano hailed President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi's statements regarding Giulio Regeni's case during his meeting with media representatives on December 8 on the sidelines of the World Youth Forum, Italian newspaper Pressenza reported.

"We are convinced that Sisi is eager to find the truth ‘in Regeni's case’ and we are confident that his words will push the Egyptian judiciary more and more to seek the truth," Alfano said during a press conference at Farnesina Palace in Rome in Italy on December 8.

“Italy is looking for the truth through judicial cooperation between our country and Egypt,” he added.
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