News   /   EU   /   Reports

Media, rights groups slam Italian govt. for continued arms sales to Egypt

Max Civili
Press TV, Rome

The Italian government has come under fire from human rights groups and a number of domestic media outlets for continuing to secure huge arms deals with Egypt.

From 2016 to 2019, Italian arms sales to Egypt jumped from about 7 million to more than 870 million euros. Recently, Cairo has purchased two Italian FREMM Bergamini-class frigates for 1.2 billion euros.

In February 2016, the body of 28-year-old Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni was found by the side of a road on the outskirts of Cairo, bearing signs of extensive torture. Two months later, Italy recalled its ambassador from Egypt in protest at a lack of progress by Egyptian authorities in a probe into Regeni’s murder.

Some believe the reason why Cairo has, in recent years, consistently purchased more weapons, spare parts and military software from Rome has been to sideline the investigation into Regeni’s murder.

European Union foreign ministers have pledged to suspend export licenses to Cairo of any equipment which, they say, might be used for internal repression.

However, Italy is not the only European country to have broken that pledge as several other EU member states have failed to live up to their commitment.

On September 17, a resolution issued by the European Parliament urged EU member states to impose an arms embargo on Cairo fueled by concerns that European weapons and military equipment might be used for domestic oppression in Egypt. Most EU nations have completely ignored the resolution so far.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku