A spokesman for Ethiopia's prime minister is downplaying suggestions by Egyptian politicians that Egypt should sabotage Ethiopia's new Nile River dam.

Political leaders in Egypt on Monday proposed carrying out hostile acts against Ethiopia. Egypt, which is dependent on the Nile, fears a diminished flow.

Getachew Reda, a spokesman for Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, said late Tuesday that Egyptian leaders in the past have unsuccessfully tried to destabilize Ethiopia. He called the suggestions of attack or sabotage an "old failed concept." He also labeled it "day dreaming."

Ethiopia last week ago began diverting the flow of the Nile toward its $4.2 billion hydroelectric plant that has been dubbed the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. The project, currently about 20 percent complete, has raised concerns in Nile-dependent Egypt.