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Egypt, Italy ties warm as Rome sends new envoy

Rome recalled previous envoy from Cairo in 2016 after the brutal murder of Italian postgraduate student Giulio Regeni

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Giampaolo Cantini
Gulf News

Cairo: Italy’s new ambassador Giampaolo Cantini arrived on Wednesday evening in the Egyptian capital, signalling a thaw in strained ties of more than a year between both countries, sources at Cairo airport said.

Cantini will replace Maurizio Massari as Italy’s envoy in Egypt, they added.

In April 2016, Italy recalled Massari from Egypt in connection with the brutal murder of Italian postgraduate student Giulio Regeni two months earlier.

Regeni, 28, was in Egypt to research trade unions. He disappeared on January 25, 2016 and his mutilated body was found later dumped on a highway near Cairo

Italian media suggested that Egyptian security agencies were involved in Regeni’s murder, a suggestion vehemently denied by Egypt.

In mid-August, Rome named Cantini as its new ambassador in Egypt, citing progress in investigations of Regeni’s case.

The new Italian ambassador is expected to present a copy of his credentials to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry on Thursday, a formality before he starts his diplomatic stint.

Egyptian diplomat Hesham Badr is, meanwhile, due to arrive in Rome later this week to serve as the ambassador for his country there.