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Italy to approve major arms sales to Egypt

An Eurofighter jet of the German Air Force performs during the visit of the German Defence Minister at the Tactical Air Force Squadron 31 "Boelcke" in Noervenich on September 27, 2019. [INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images]
An Eurofighter jet of the German Air Force performs during the visit of the German Defence Minister at the Tactical Air Force Squadron 31 "Boelcke" in Noervenich on September 27, 2019. [INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images]

The Italian government is considering the approval of a new arms deal with Egypt whereby the latter would receive frigates, jets including Eurofighter Typhoons and a military satellite, La Republica has reported.

The deal is set to be approved by the cabinet having already been endorsed by the Ministry of Defence.

Italy’s friendly relations with post-2013 Egypt were strained temporarily in 2016 when Italian PhD researcher Guilio Regeni disappeared in Cairo for 10 days before his corpse was found with signs of torture on the body, in a rubbish container on the outskirts of the city.

The student had been researching independent trade unions in Egypt at the time that he was killed.

Image of the Italian student and researcher Giulio Regen [File photo]

Italian student and researcher Giulio Regeni [File photo]

The Italian government accused the Egyptian regime of forcefully disappearing Regeni and torturing him to death, and recalled the Italian ambassador to Rome.

Since the 2013 military coup that ousted the late President Mohamed Morsi, who died in custody last year, an Egypt ruled by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has cracked down on all forms of dissent, as well as journalists and researchers.

Egypt’s relations with Italy have improved in recent years, but Regeni’s case has not been resolved. A parliamentary inquiry in Rome continues to accuse the Egyptian government of being responsible for the Italian’s murder.

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