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CAIRO, Sept 21, 2018 (MENA) - Egyptian Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar met Friday with the chairman of the supreme council of Italian universities, President of the University of Naples Federico II Gaetano Manfredi.

The minister stressed the importance of enhancing cooperation between Egypt and Italy in the scientific and educational fields, as well as boosting the partnership between Egyptian and Italian research and scientific institutions, according to a statement by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

The ministry explained that the meeting came in light of the minister's participation in the activities of the international scientific conference on innovation, which is organised by university of Naples Federico II from the period September 20-22.

During the meeting, both sides discussed ways of boosting cooperation on establishing a complex for the university in Egypt, in order to help it in enhancing the quality of its university and technical education.

At the end of the meeting, the two sides signed a letter of intent to boost the strategic partnership between Italy and Egypt in scientific research and technology and increase the exchange of students and teachers.


CAIRO, September 17, 2018 - President Abdel Fattah El Sisi asserted on Monday Egypt's keenness on intensifying co-operation with Italy in various fields in a way that reflects historical relations and links between the peoples of the two countries.

The president's assertion of this attitude was highlighted during his meeting with President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies Roberto Fico. Attending the meeting were House of Deputies Speaker Dr Ali Abdel Aal and Rome's Ambassador to Cairo Giampaolo Cantini, Presidency Spokesman Ambassador Bassam Radi said.

The current visit to Cairo by the president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies is the fourth high-level mission to the Egyptian capital in less than two months. Called ' Camera dei deputati' in Italian, the Chamber is a house of the bicameral Parliament of Italy and the Senate of the Republic.

During the meeting, President Sisi welcomed the top Italian parliamentarian and expressed willingness to consolidate parliamentary relations and intensify the exchange of visits between officials of the two countries. President Sisi also highlighted that such visits constitute a good opportunity to push forward cooperation and the exchange of viewpoints at various levels, Spokesman Radi said.

The meeting also included discussion on the case of the Italian student Giulio Regeni, Spokesman Radi said, adding that President Sisi reiterated in this regard Egypt's keenness on reaching the truth, the commitment of  Egyptian authorities to full transparency with the Italian side and co-operation between the Egyptian Public Prosecution and its Italian equivalent.

President Sisi also directed that any obstacles undermining ongoing investigations be removed so that the case can be settled and the perpetrators be identified and brought to justice.

On illegal migration, President Sisi asserted that Egypt proved it is a pioneering, credible partner in the field of combatting illegal migration and had taken effective measures at the legislative and economic levels to secure borders and control its coasts, in effect  stopping the flow of illegal migration from Egyptian borders since 2016.

For his part, the Italian official expressed gratification over his visit to Egypt and his meeting with President Sisi, asserting historical and long-standing relations between the two countries and the recent development of co-operation between them especially in the economic and trade field, Spokesman Radi said.

Mr Fico said that he is looking forward to intensifying co-operation in the parliamentary field in a way that contributes to enhancing bilateral relations and pushing these relations forward to new horizons, the Presidency Spokesman said.

Mr Fico also expressed his country's appreciation of Egypt's strong will to reach the truth which both sides are now searching for, as well as Egypt's willingness to arrest the perpetrators of the crime through co-operation – a matter that will have positive effect on the Italian public opinion. He pointed out that he is looking forward to speeding up the settlement of the case in a way that contributes to pushing forward relations between the two countries and enhancing co-operation.


CAIRO, Sept 17, 2018 (MENA) - President Abdel Fattah El Sisi Monday asserted Egypt's keenness on intensifying cooperation with Italy in various fields in a way that reflects historical relations between their two peoples.

During a meeting here with President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy Roberto Fico, in the presence of House of Representatives Speaker Dr Ali Abdel Aal and the Italian ambassador in Cairo, the president said Egypt is looking forward to promoting parliamentary ties and exchanging more visits by officials from both sides, Presidency Spokesman Bassam Radi said.

The Italian parliament speaker's visit, the fourth by a high-level Italian official to Cairo in less than two months, is considered a good opportunity to push forward cooperation and exchange views at all levels, president Sisi said.

Fico asserted long-lasting historical relations between Egypt and Italy, underscoring their development recently particularly in the economic and trade fields. He expressed his wish for more joint cooperation in the parliamentary field.

They tackled the murder of Giulio Regeni, the Cambridge postgraduate Italian student who was kidnapped and murdered in Cairo, during the meeting. President Sisi stressed Egypt's keenness to reach the truth about this crime. The Egyptian authorities are committed to full transparency with the Italian side and the Egyptian Public Prosecution is cooperating with its Italian counterpart in this respect, the president said, adding that he has given directives to iron out any obstacles facing the ongoing investigations in order to settle this case and reach the perpetrators to bring them to justice.

The Italian speaker voiced his country's appreciation of Egypt's stance as regards reaching the truth in this case through joint cooperation, Radi said.

The meeting also covered a number of other files of mutual concern particularly illegal immigration and the active measures taken at the legislative and economic levels and securing borders which have led to halting the flow of illegal immigrants from Egyptian shores since 2016.

The crises in Libya and Syria and anti-terrorism efforts were also discussed during the meeting, he added

ROME, Sept 15, 2018 (MENA) - Egypt's Ambassador in Rome Hesham Badr said that Italy is Egypt's second trading partner within the European Union and one of the most important foreign investors in the Egyptian market, especially in the oil and gas fields.

Badr made these remarks during an economic seminar held by the Egyptian embassy at its headquarters in Rome to outline the latest economic developments and highlight investment opportunities available in the Egyptian market.

Italy is a strategic partner of Egypt in the Mediterranean region, stressing at the same time on the Egyptian leadership's keenness to boost historical ties between both countries and peoples, he said.

Badr reviewed the latest political and economic developments witnessed by Egypt during the past four years under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, which contributed to laying the legal and legislative basis for improving the investment climate in Egypt.

A number of representatives of 90 Italian small and medium-sized companies, Italian trade unions and chambers, as well as members of the Italian senate and Italian Export Credit Agency (SACE), as well as representatives of the Italian Trade Agency (ICE) have attended the seminar.

ROME, September 13, 2018 (News Wires) - Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria did not offer his resignation due to tensions over next year's budget, and in particular with the 5-Star Movement's promised universal income, an economy ministry source said on Thursday.

La Repubblica and La Stampa newspapers reported on Thursday that Tria, who is not a member of either party in the ruling coalition, told Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte he was willing to step down amid mounting pressure from 5-Star.

The reports "are baseless", the source said.

By Paolo Sabbatini

Recently, I spent a few days in the territory which was the home of ancient Etruscans, whose capital today is the beautiful city of Viterbo, about 100km from Rome. I was invited to spend a few days in the magical residence of Eugenio and Annamaria Benedetti, philanthropists and culture connoisseurs: being a cosmopolitan couple they have been living all over the world, including of course in Egypt, but they have made the land of the Etruscans their home. In fact, Eugenio is a descendant of Empedocle Gaglio, the Founder of the Italian Hospital in Cairo.

Anyway, on September 2, we watched the historical procession in Viterbo, with over 300 figures and effigies wearing period costumes, paying homage to Santa Rosa, the patron saint of the city.

The Bishop of Viterbo had invited Coptic Orthodox Bishop Barnaba Suryani, Representative of Pope Tawadros II in Italy, to attend the historic occasion. We were sitting in the Church, next to the municipal and religious authorities of the city.

However, the most important event occurred the next day, the evening of September 3: the pageant of “Macchina di Santa Rosa”. This pageant involves a lofty, artistically-made tower with lights, weighing about 50 quintals, surmounted by a statue of Santa Rosa, being carried in procession through the streets of the historic centre of Viterbo, on the shoulders of more than 100 porters.

The event originated in 1258, when Pope Alexander VI promoted the transport of a canopy, which gradually transformed into an imposing tower made out of various materials, always carried on the shoulders of its porters, named "Facchini di Santa Rosa”.

The procession is a good example of the preservation of traditional cultural heritage, promoting the city and area where it belongs. In fact, the event recently gained UNESCO recognition and has been placed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

That evening, in the Piazza del Municipio of Viterbo, sitting on the chairs arranged at our disposal by the Mayor, we waited for this imposing building to appear before our eyes, across the street, shining with the light of a thousand candles, a beacon in the dark night of the city, since all other lights had been turned off.

After a moment of stunned silence, the thousands of people in the jam-packed streets could hear only the calls of the head of the "Facchini di Santa Rosa" who had embarked on this strenuous journey, full of danger: if one out of the hundred porters loses control, he will jeopardise the stability of the whole tower and imperil his fellow porters.

This journey, beyond its requirement of pure physical prowess, is really a journey of faith. The concepts of physical and spiritual strength, will, determination, friendship among porters make up the spirit of the Viterbo people.

I felt ecstatic to have watched such a sui generis spectacle and I sincerely hope to make all my twenty-five readers take note of it and why not gather together in Viterbo for September 3, 2019, God willing.


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