The Ethiopian government dismissed comments made by prominent Egyptian politicians during a meeting with President Mohamed Morsi, in which some suggested taking aggressive action against Ethiopia in reaction to the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
Getachew Reda, spokesman for Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, dismissed the suggestions of aggression as an “old failed concept”, according to the Associated Press. Reda referred to plans of sabotage against Ethiopia as “day dreaming”.
Ethiopia’s Minister for Water Resources Alemayehu Tegenu said Egypt had no need to worry about the dam, according to a statement released by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We do not have any plan to harm downstream countries, Sudan and Egypt,” said the minister. “If Egypt has some issues to discuss with Ethiopia we are very ready to discuss them.”
During the televised meeting at the Presidential Palace in Cairo on Saturday, Chairman of Al-Nour Party Younis Makhyoun suggested that Israel and the United States were actively supporting Ethiopia in the construction of the dam.
He proposed backing the Oromo Liberation Front or the Ogaden National Liberation Front, two Ethiopian resistance movements, to create unrest in Ethiopia. Makhyoun also said Egypt could use its intelligence agencies to “destroy any dam that compromises the security of Egypt.”
Ayman Nour also suggested using intelligence agencies to meddle in the domestic affairs of Ethiopia and that the Egyptian government should leak information saying its military was escalating operations.
Following the meeting Morsi’s adviser for political affairs Pakinam El-Sharkawy issued an apology for not explicitly telling the meeting’s attendees that the discussion was on live television.