Egypt eyes retaliatory steps after Italy …

Egypt eyes retaliatory steps after Italy halts military supplies

Cairo, July 7 (IANS/AKI) Egypt said on Thursday it was considering retaliatory steps after Italy voted to stop the sale to Egypt of spare parts for F16 fighter jets, the first economic measures taken against the country since the killing of research student Giulio Regeni.

“We regret the decision and are considering taking similar measures that affect areas of cooperation with Italy,” the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday in a statement.

It came after the Italian lower house of parliament late on Wednesday upheld the so-called ‘Regeni’ amendment to a bill approved by the upper house Senate last week after a heated debate.

The statement said the measures would “affect bilateral, regional and international cooperation between Italy and Egypt” including cooperating combatting illegal immigration in the Mediterranean.

Egypt’s President and former military chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi claims the investigation into Regeni’s abduction, torture and murder earlier this year is being conducted with the “utmost transparency” and Egyptian officials have repeatedly denied speculation that security forces were involved.

No one has been brought to justice for Regeni’s killing.

Italy withdrew its ambassador to Egypt in April over the case, which has strained ties between the two trading partners.

Italy was Egypt’s fourth largest trading partner last year, according to official Egyptian
statistics.

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