Cairo condemns what it calls an attack on the Egyptian state and accuses Ethiopia of using a violent tone Egypt’s foreign ministry has said it has summoned Ethiopia’s top diplomat in Cairo over comments Addis Ababa official regarding a controversial dam on the Nile.
The Egyptian ministry “summoned the Ethiopian Charge d’Affaires in Cairo to explain comments by the spokesperson for the Ethiopian Ministry for Foreign Affairs regarding Egyptian domestic affairs,” it said late on Wednesday.
The statement did not cite specific comments but followed a statement by the Ethiopian official on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), Africa’s biggest hydroelectric project, which has raised fears for vital water supplies downstream in Egypt and Sudan.
“They know the GERD won’t harm them, and it’s a diversion from internal problems,” Dina Mufti, the Ethiopian ministry’s spokesman and a former ambassador to Egypt, said on Tuesday.
Mufti contended that without this “distraction,” Egypt and Sudan would “have to deal with many local issues waiting to explode, especially up there [in Egypt].”
In a new statement on Thursday, the Egyptian ministry condemned what it called an “attack on the Egyptian state” and accused Addis Ababa of using an “aggressive tone … to hide Ethiopia’s multiple failures at home and abroad”.
“It would have been better for the spokesman to pay attention to the deteriorating situation in his country, which is witnessing multiple conflicts and humanitarian crises that have killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands of innocent civilians,” it said.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, on November 4, ordered the military to confront the ruling party of Tigray’s dissident northern region, where fighting is feared to have left thousands dead.
Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan have been in talks since 2011 but have failed to fill the dam. The negotiations have been stalled since August.
The Nile, the world’s longest river at 6,000km (3,700 miles), is a lifeline supplying water and electricity to 10 countries.
Ethiopia views the dam as essential for its growing power needs. It insists that the flow of water downstream will not be affected.
The dam is at the center of Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter. Here