Rome says Egypt cooperation on Regeni case ‘essential’

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said on Monday that cooperation between Egypt and Italy to resolve the issue of the Italian researcher Giulio Regeni, who was murdered in Egypt last year, is "essential" for bilateral ties.

Italy, according to Alfano, is "evaluating the development of judicial cooperation” with authorities in Cairo, “which, for us, is essential for the continuation of a certain kind of relationship with Egypt".

Egyptian and Italian detectives are still working on resolving the issue; however, Rome had not sent an ambassador to Cairo in protest to the lack of progress achieved, Ansa news agency reported.

Regeni, a 28-year-old Cambridge University PhD candidate, disappeared on January 25, 2016 in central Cairo as police came out in full force in anticipation of protests. His body, bearing signs of torture, was later found by the side of a road.

Regeni had been researching street vendor trade unions, a sensitive political issue in Egypt, where successive governments have feared strikes and unrest. Egypt has forcefully denied that its police were involved in his abduction.

Police officials at first suggested Regeni might have died in a road accident. They have issued scant information about their investigation. An Italian autopsy showed that Regeni's body was covered with cuts and his bones were broken, indicating he had been hit with "fists, batons and hammers".

A letter "X" was carved on his forehead and hand, according to the report cited by Italian media.

In related news, Parliamentary Speaker Ali Abdel Aal is to participate in the executive office meeting of the Union for the Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly.

According to a statement from Parliament, the meeting will tackle several issues including proposals for reforms to the assembly. It added that the office includes the parliamentary speakers of Egypt, Italy, Turkey and the EU.

Meanwhile, Minister of Manpower Mohamed Saafan received a report from the workers representation office, affiliated to the ministry at the general consulate in Milan, indicating that Rome might deport illegal immigrants. They would be sent to detention cells, to be opened, before they are deported.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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