Published June 05, 2013
Several Egyptian politicians were caught on state television threatening and taunting Ethiopia over a dam dispute after not being warned the meeting would be broadcast.
The comments, which were picked up during a meeting with President Mohammed Morsi, center on the construction of Ethiopia’s $4.2 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which aims to divert the flow of the Blue Nile tributary for hydroelectric power.
The construction of the dam challenges a colonial-era agreement between Egypt and Sudan on levels of access to the Nile’s water, the BBC reports.
Politicians at the meeting said Egypt should send special forces to destroy the dam, fly jets over it to scare Ethiopians, or support rebels currently fighting the Ethiopian government.
"This could yield results in the diplomatic arena,'' former presidential candidate Ayman Nour was overheard saying, according to the BBC.
Presidential adviser Bakinam al-Sharqawi apologized for the “unintentional embarrassment,” adding that he failed for not warning politicians that the meeting would be broadcast.