Why Italy needs an ambassador to Egypt?



Tue, 15 Aug 2017 - 12:47 GMT


Tue, 15 Aug 2017 - 12:47 GMT

Italy has been suffering from large numbers of illegal migrants and is working closely with Egypt and Libya to solve the crisis – CC via Wikimedia Commons/ United States of America U.S. Navy photo/U.S. Navy

Italy has been suffering from large numbers of illegal migrants and is working closely with Egypt and Libya to solve the crisis – CC via Wikimedia Commons/ United States of America U.S. Navy photo/U.S. Navy

CAIRO – 15 August 2017: The return of the Italian ambassador to Cairo was a step advocated and supported by a number of Italian politicians and diplomats. The cooperation between both countries is a must to face the many challenges in the region and maintain mutual interests.

The following are the main reasons the return of the ambassador is important for Italy:

Investigations on Gulio Regeni’s murder

Italian news agency Nova reported on Monday that the ambassador would be a trustworthy speaker in communications with Egypt for consolidating judicial cooperation and finding the truth behind the murder of Giulio Regeni, as well as for maintaining Italian interests in Egypt.

The agency indicated that both Egyptian and Italian public prosecutors, Nabil Sadek and Giuseppe Pignatone, held talks over the phone in order to update the Italian party on investigations conducted last May.

Sadek and Pignatone discussed the police investigations of the information reported by the head of the street vendors’ syndicate in Cairo. They also discussed the procedures taking place to recover data on surveillance cameras at the metro station in Dokki. That task was assigned to a German company in accord with the Italian party.

Representatives of both public prosecutions are set to meet after a meeting between Egyptian and Italian delegations in September.

Economic Interests

The Zohr gas field is the largest natural gas field found in the Mediterranean and was discovered in 2015 by the Italian energy company Eni. The field has an area of 100 square meters at a depth of 1,450 meters.

It will start production through three phases. The first will be launched in a few months with an output of one billion cubic feet per day (cfd). When all seven fields begin producing in 2019, this amount will increase to 2.7 billion cfd.

Political Interests

The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported in March that Ambassador Antonio Zanardi Landi, the former diplomatic advisor to former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, demanded the return of the ambassador to Cairo.

Landi, who is the president of an Italian humanitarian aid organization called Intersos, viewed that the presence of the ambassador would make direct dialogue with the Egyptian party possible and would make room for managing certain files, such as illegal immigration, Libya and terrorism, as well as for reinvigorating commercial and economic relations.

It is noted that Libya has been a destination for illegal immigrants to Europe after the toppling of former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.

“As for the situation in Libya, Italy is always in need of Egypt. The ambassador’s return would facilitate many matters on both parties and end any existing crises or issues,” Landi said, stressing that those fueling the case are being emotional rather than rational.

Two Italian senators called the government of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni on July 27 to return the Italian ambassador back to Cairo. They asserted that, “Withdrawal of the Italian Ambassador was a wrong decision,” Il dubbio newspaper stated.

The Italian senators, Carlo Giovanardi and Luigi Compagna, issued a statement in which they expressed that the withdrawal of the Italian ambassador from Cairo had an impact on the decline of Italy's role in Libya, pointing out that France benefited from this withdrawal.

They also referred to the tragic death of Giulio Regeni and called on the government to take steps to solve this issue. They continued to say that the withdrawal of the Italian ambassador declined the role of Italy in the whole region and in Egypt also.

Italy has decided to return Ambassador Giampaolo Cantini to Cairo a year after he had been summoned, Reuters reported on Monday. The Italian ambassador was withdrawn in August 2016 due to the mysterious torture and murder of student Julio Regeni.

The reason behind that decision is the shocking incident that occurred on Thursday, when an Italian tourist beat an Egyptian engineer to death at a hotel under construction in the Marsa Alam resort town on the Red Sea.

The police arrested the Italian tourist on a murder charge. He will be held for four days in prison, pending the outcome of a forensic investigation.



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