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Egypt Summons Ethiopia Diplomat over Nile Dam Remarks

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CAIRO, 01 January 2021, (TON): Egypt’s foreign ministry has said it has summoned Ethiopia’s top diplomat in Cairo over comments by an 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 domestic Egyptian affairs,” it said late on Wednesday.

“They know the GERD won’t harm them, 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.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have been in talks since 2011 but have failed to reach a deal on filling the dam. The negotiations have been stalled since August.

Ethiopia views the dam as essential for its growing power needs and insists that the flow of water downstream will not be affected. Egypt opposes unilateral moves by Ethiopia and along with Sudan, it has called for a legally binding political solution to the dispute.

 

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