Italy appoints new ambassador to Egypt, scheduled to arrive in September

Wednesday 11-05-2016 05:26 PM

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi - Reuters

CAIRO, May 11 (Aswat Masriya) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced on Tuesday the appointment of a new ambassador to Cairo to replace Maurizio Massari.

Italy recalled its ambassador to Egypt on April 8 after two days of consultations between Italian and Egyptian investigators failed to provide evidence needed to uncover the truth behind Italian student Giulio Regeni's murder in Egypt, Reuters reported.

An official at the Italian embassy in Cairo told Aswat Masriya on Wednesday that the appointment of a new ambassador is a "procedure ascribed to the foreign ministry."

Italy's news agency ANSA reported Tuesday that Italy's new ambassador to Egypt will be Giampaolo Cantini.

Massari was appointed as Rome's Permanent Representative to the European Union in Brussels. The new ambassador to Cairo is scheduled to assume the position in September, according to the embassy official.

The 28-year-old Italian researcher Regeni, who was in Egypt to conduct research into the labour movement, went missing in Cairo on Jan. 25, 2016, which marked the fifth anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. Ten days later, his body was found, bearing signs of torture, in a roadside ditch on the outskirts of Cairo.

An Italian delegation arrived in Cairo on Saturday to follow up on the investigation into the murder case.

ANSA also reported Tuesday that Egyptian investigators working on the case of Regeni have "failed to turn over to Italian investigators phone records formally sought by Rome prosecutors in an April 14 international diplomatic request."

Egypt had said it refused to provide this information on the grounds that this would contradict articles in the Egyptian constitution governing the right to privacy and confidentiality in means of communications.

Rome Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone was suspicious Rome would reach the truth behind Regeni's murder given that Egyptian police are in charge of the investigation, according to ANSA.

Regeni's death has sparked anger locally and internationally with Italy pressuring Egypt to disclose the circumstances around his death, threatening that otherwise it will consider taking measures against the Middle Eastern country. 

The incident has put Egypt's internal policies under scrutiny as international media outlets accused Egypt's interior ministry of being behind the torture and killing of Regeni, which Egypt has denied.

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