Egypt, Italy 'a phone call away' from $3bn combat aircraft deal: report
Egypt and Italy are close to securing a $3 billion deal for combat aircraft, according to Italian media reports.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi is now awaiting a phone call from Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi to confirm the deal, Il Fatto Quotidiano reported, citing an Italian official.
"Al Sisi is only waiting for a phone call from Draghi," the official said.
The deal would see Italy give Egypt 24 Eurofighter Typhoon jets. The combat aircraft deal is part of a wider arms deal between Egypt and Italy, valued at around $10 billion, according to reports.
Human Rights Watch in 2020 condemned any potential arms transfer from Italy to Egypt, given Cairo's human rights abuses.
The arms deal comes despite outrage in Italy over the death of Italian student Giulio Regeni, allegedly at the hands of Egyptian security forces.
Italy in April suspended the trial of four Egyptian security officers accused of murdering Regeni, citing a lack of Egyptian cooperation.