The Egyptian government yesterday denied reports that it had withdrawn its ambassador to Italy.
“The Egyptian ambassador to Italy is continuing to carry out his job duties,” the country’s foreign ministry said in a statement, stressing that the diplomat “won’t be leaving the Italian capital of Rome soon.”
The ministry described the reports as “baseless speculations.”
The Egyptian statement comes nearly two weeks after Italy’s decision to suspend parliamentary relations with Egypt. The Italian government also began a unilateral investigation into the murder of the 26-year-old doctoral student and researcher Giulio Regeni, whose body was found tortured and abandoned on a Cairo road side in February 2016.
On Sunday, a local media source said that the Egyptian ambassador in Rome “might either return to the country’s capital of Cairo early next year or continue in office if the investigations into Regeni’s murder case succeeded to lift the charges against Egypt.”
On 2 December, Cairo announced that it had informed Rome that it refuses to include two Egyptian policemen as suspects in Regeni’s case.
In late November, an Italian public prosecutor named several members of Egypt’s national security agency as suspects in the murder.
Regeni was doing research for his doctorate in Cairo when he went missing. His body was discovered nine days later on the city’s outskirts. International lawyers say that his killing came as a result of the research he was conducting regarding Egypt’s independent trade unions.