Italy's relations with Egypt are at a low ebb over researcher Giulio Regeni's unsolved murder and the imprisonment of student activist Patrick Zaki, foreign minister Luigi Di Maio said on Friday.
"Our relations with Egypt have hit an all-time low," Di Maio told Corriere della Sera newspaper.
"The Regeni case remains unsolved and we ask for the ambassadors of European countries to be allowed to monitor trials (in Egypt) once again," he said.
Italy needs to tread carefully in order to free Zaki and to find out the truth over Regeni's murder, Di Maio underlined.
Zaki, a Coptic Christian, has been imprisoned in Egypt since February last year, where he has allegedly been tortured. He currently faces charges including "calling for protests without permission", "spreading false news" and "inciting violence and terrorism".
The Italian senate on Wednesday voted to approve a proposal for the exceptional granting of Italian citizenship to Zaki, who is studying for in for a Master’s Degree in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Bologna.
Zaki has campaigned for justice for Regeni, who was abducted in central Cairo in January 2016 and tortured to death over the following nine days. Italian prosecutors want to try four senior members of Egypt's security forces over Regeni's murder but Egypt suspended its investigation into the case last November, saying it had reservations about the evidence Italy had compiled.