Egypt says it is shocked and holds “deep concern” over comments made by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that appear to threaten a military response over the nations’ impasse on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) project.
Abiy, speaking to the Ethiopian parliament earlier in the day, said Ethiopia could muster millions to go to war with Egypt over the dam, which is expected to be the largest in Africa. Two hydropower stations along the Blue Nile will deliver 15,000 GWh per year in much needed electricity for Ethiopians, but threats to the river that Egypt and Sudan depend on have for years irked Egyptian leaders.
Negotiations over the dam between Egypt and Ethiopia have been unsuccessful, with the most recent round failing again. That prompted Abiy’s warning and brought a swift response from Egypt.
“Egypt is bewildered by such statements as it is not appropriate to engage in such propositions entailing military options,” said the statement issued by Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Egypt, in full transparency and good faith over many years, has always called for, and was keen on, negotiations as a means to resolve the differences pertaining to the GERD between the three countries.”
Egypt also noted that the timing of Abiy’s statement, just days after winning this year’s Nobel Peace Prize – an achievement “which we all celebrated,” they said – brought even more astonishment.
Egypt said it has received and immediately accepted an invitation from the United States to host a meeting of all three foreign ministers in order to break the stalemate.
Image: MFA Ethiopia file