The Italian Senate voted Wednesday to stop the supply of F-16 fighters being delivered to Egypt in the first “pressure signal” as part of the repercussions following the murder of student Giulio Regeni, Italian news agency ANSA reported.
The “Regeni amendment” was reportedly adopted following 159 votes in its favour. The measure to halt Italy’s supply of fighter jets and parts to Egypt will now go to the House, ANSA added. Italian politician Gian Carlo Sangalli was quoted as saying: “it is not a hostile act [against Cairo] but [rather] our country’s title and our right to continue to keep pressure on public opinion and even Egypt.”
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry responded Thursday by expressing concern over the vote, which was closely related to the Regeni case, and not “convenient to the cooperation between the two countries’ investigation authorities since the beginning, as well as to Egyptian-Italian relations”.
The ministry added: “Egypt will closely follow up the developments in Italy to make the right decision regarding the management of those relations, which it hopes will continue on good terms”.
This move comes nearly five months after the discovery of Regeni’s corpse in a ditch on the Cairo-Alexandria Desert road. Amid different reports suggesting police detained the student prior to his death, Italy has continued to push for the “truth for Regeni” while Egyptian authorities have not revealed useful information regarding the investigation.
Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni previously stated that Italy will continue inquiring into the Italian researcher’s murder. “If anyone thinks that we will stop demanding the truth about Regeni’s murder as time goes on, they are wrong,” he said in April.