The editor of Egypt's top state newspaper is calling on authorities to seriously deal with the case of an Italian student tortured and killed in Cairo, saying officials who don't realize the gravity of the case are risking a break in Egyptian-Italian relations.

In front-page comments, Al-Ahram's editor Mohammed Abdel-Hadi Allam charged that Egypt was embarrassed and has been placed in a "very grave situation" by officials who don't understand the "value of truth" and the priority given to human rights in Europe.

He also warned that a "moment of truth" between Egypt and Italy over what happened to Guilio Regeni may be fast approaching.

The Regeni case has roiled Cairo's relations with Rome, with Regeni's family and Italian media accusing Egyptian security forces of killing him.