Egypt President Morsi Aide Apologizes After Ethiopia Remarks Broadcast Live

VOA: Egyptian politicians have proposed ways to sabotage an Ethiopian dam project in talks that were televised live without the politicians’ knowledge.

An aide to Egypt’s president apologized for failing to tell the politicians they were on the air Monday during the meeting with President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo.

The aide said on Twitter that a decision was made at the last minute to air the meeting live, due to the importance of the topic.

Ethiopia has angered Egypt with its plans to construct a massive hydroelectric dam on the Blue Nile, a key Nile River tributary.

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During Monday’s meeting, an Islamist party leader suggested Egypt support Ethiopian rebels to exert pressure on Addis Ababa. A liberal politician suggested spreading rumors that Egypt was buying military planes for possible airstrikes.

Mohamed Morsi
Mohamed Morsi

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The Associated Press reports President Morsi did not directly react to the suggestions. He did warn that he would not allow Ethiopia’s dam project to reduce his country’s share of water from the Nile.

Last week, Ethiopia began diverting water from a Nile tributary to allow for construction of the nearly $5 billion dam. The country’s water minister has said the dam poses no threat to Egypt or Sudan, which both depend heavily on the Nile for their water supply.

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More than two-thirds of the Blue Nile tributary originates in Ethiopia. But colonial-era treaties gave Egypt and Sudan the majority of the Nile’s water.

Ethiopia began constructing the dam two years ago with the goal of producing power for itself and nearby countries.

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