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Sunday, 10 July 2016

Egypt considers retaliating against Italy after decision to cut military supplies

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is considering retaliating against Italy after its senate voted to halt exporting military supplies to Egypt including spare parts for F-16 fighter jets, Reuters reported. “We regret the decision and are considering taking similar measures that affect areas of cooperation with Italy,” the Ministry reportedly said on Wednesday. The foreign ministry didn’t specify the measures under consideration, but said any action taken could “affect bilateral, regional and international cooperation between Italy and Egypt” and include “a review of ongoing cooperation in combating illegal immigration in the Mediterranean and dealing with the situation in Libya.”

Economic ties could be up for discussion as House looks to review relations with Italy: Tensions looked set to escalate on Saturday when House Speaker Ali Abdel Aal directed three House committees — human rights, foreign affairs and national security and defence — to “conduct a review” of relations with Italy, Ahram Online’s Gamal Essam El Din reported. Critically, Rep. Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat, chairman of the House Committee on Human Rights and a member of the liberal (in the Egyptian context) Reform and Democracy Party, suggested MPs may be open to a range of sanctions saying there are “many MPs who say that there should be a complete overhaul of all economic and oil agreements and all kinds of cooperation between the two countries.” The House also decided to lower its representation at the Parliamentary assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean to be held in Rome Sunday from speaker Abdel Aal to foreign affairs committee head Mohamed Al-Orabi, Al-Orabi confirmed to Al Shorouk in a phone call from Rome. The decision was directly related to Italy’s decision to halt weapon supplies, Rep. Emad Gad told the newspaper.

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