Egypt is a major regional player and a partner of Italy's in efforts to stabilise war-ravaged Libya, battle terrorism, stop arms and human trafficking, manage migration and in energy projects, Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio said on Wednesday.
"Egypt remains a key interlocuter in the Mediterranean, in the efforts to resolve the conflict in Libya, the fight against terrorism and trafficking, the management of migration and in energy cooperation," said Di Maio.
Di Maio was addressing lawmakers during parliamentary questions over the centre-left government's planned 1.2 billion euro sale to Egypt of two Fremm-class warships that it has been negotiating for months.
The planned deal has sparked a backlash in Italy given Egypt's ongoing stonewalling over the unsolved murder of trade unions researcher Giulio Regeni, who was abducted in Cairo and tortured to death in early 2016.
Egypt's secret services are believed to be behind Regeni's savage killing in which Egypt's government denies any role.