Ethiopia will not cave-in to aggressions of any kind over the construction of the dam, the Office of the Ethiopian Prime Minister has said.
On Friday, the US President Donald Trump has voiced anger at Ethiopia over its construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam on the Nile River and suggested Egypt may destroy it.
Trump made the remarks on Friday as he announced a normalization deal between Israel and Sudan.
In a statement seen by Eye Radio, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office said Ethiopia was working to resolve longstanding issues over the project with downstream neighbors Sudan and Egypt.
“Nonetheless, occasional statements of belligerent threats to have Ethiopia succumb to unfair terms still abound,” his office said in a statement.
“These threats and affronts to Ethiopian sovereignty are misguided, unproductive, and clear violations of international law.”
“Ethiopia will not cave-in to aggressions of any kind,” the statement added.
A separate version of the statement issued in Amharic featured strong language.
“There are two facts that the world has certified. The first is that there has been no one who has lived in peace after provoking Ethiopia. The second is if Ethiopians stand united for one purpose, it’s inevitable, they will triumph,” it said.
Abiy’s office did not explicitly mention Trump, but its statement came the morning after the US president weighed in on the dam dispute in support of Egypt.
“It’s a very dangerous situation because Egypt is not going to be able to live that way,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Friday during a ceremony marking a breakthrough normalization deal between Israel and Sudan.
“They’ll end up blowing up the dam. And I said it and I say it loud and clear – they’ll blow up that dam. And they have to do something,” Trump said.
Egypt depends on the Nile for about 97 percent of its irrigation and drinking water and sees the dam as an existential threat.
The $4.6 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is a source of national pride, aimed at pulling millions of people from poverty.
Ethiopia, meanwhile, sees the $4.6 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam as a source of national pride, essential for its electrification and development.
Washington’s attempt to broker a deal to resolve the dam issue ended in failure earlier this year after Ethiopia accused the Trump administration of favoring Egypt.
Negotiations between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan are now being overseen by the African Union.
The US announced last month it was suspending a portion of its financial aid for Ethiopia, citing lack of progress on talks and Ethiopia’s “unilateral decision” to start filling the dam’s reservoir.
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