Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel-Aal
Italy’s Chamber of Deputies decided on Thursday to halt all diplomatic relations with Egypt’s Parliament until there is a breakthrough and trial in the case of murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni.
According to the Italian news agency of ANSA, the speaker of the Italian Parliament Roberto Fico said on Friday that there will be complete suspension of diplomatic relations with the Egyptian Parliament due to the slow and inconclusive investigations of murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni.
“With great regret I announce that @Montecitorio will suspend all kind of diplomatic relations with the Egyptian Parliament, until there is a real turning point in the investigation concerning the murder of Giulio Regeni,” Fico said.
Immediately following the Italian unilateral decision, Parliamentary speaker Ali Abdel-Aal expressed dissatisfaction with the Italian parliament’s move, saying that a unilateral decision won’t help to reach the results of investigations quickly and won’t affect the Egyptian-Italian strong relations.
Abdel-Aal then asked three parliamentary committees to hold an urgent meeting to review Egyptian-Italian political relations.
He said; “It is deplorable that this move on the part of the Italian parliament comes at a time when Egypt is leading a fierce war against terrorist organisations. We were also surprised that the Italian authorities took place after the judicial authorities in both Egypt and Italy were intensifying their cooperation in a bid to unravel the mystery of Regeni’s death.”
Abdel-Aal stressed that contacts between both countries’ parliaments should continue despite frictions. “We need to get out of this crisis with our long-term relations intact,” said Abdel-Aal.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Mustafa, deputy chairman of the Ethics Committee, accused Rome of using the investigation of Regeni case “as a tool of political exhortation”.
And Free Egyptians Party MP Tarek Radwan, deputy chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said an objective review of Egyptian-Italian relations is now required.
“We should work on containing current tensions rather than taking retaliatory measures,” said Radwan. “The Italian parliament’s decision places Egyptian-Italian relations on edge, something that can only serve terrorist organisations targeting the security of the Mediterranean countries.”
However, Kamal Amer, head of parliament’s Defence and National Security Committee, said: “We are very keen that Egyptian-Italian relations remain strong. Italy was, after all, the first European country to support Egypt’s Revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood”.
He added that the Italian decision won’t affect the Egyptian-Italian strong relations.