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Eritrea denies plans to sabotage Ethiopian dam with Egypt

Reports that Eritrea is helping Egypt to target and sabotage the building of the Renaissance dam in Ethiopia have been dismissed as "unfounded" by the Eritrea leader, Isaias Afeworki in an interview with state-run television, ERITV.

The Eritrean President downplayed reports circulated in a Sudanese newspaper and other media outlets last month which quoted Eritrean opposition groups as saying that Egypt had concluded a secret deal to open a new naval based on Nora Island in the Red Sea off the coast of Eritrea.

Although the claims were denied by Egyptian military sources, the Eritrean government have made no official statement until now about the allegations.  President Afeworki blamed the speculation on what he called "an unhealthy mind-set," but confirmed the relationship between Egypt and his country had grown strong over a short period of time.

In October last year, the Eritrean leader visited Cairo where he met his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel-Fatah Al-Sisi, in a meeting described as a "deliberate move" against Ethiopia by political sources in Cairo quoted in The New Arab news outlet.

Read: Sudan and Ethiopia on alert for Egyptian military strike

Egypt and Ethiopia have been locked in a bitter war of words since 2013 when Egyptian politicians inadvertently discussed sabotaging the Renaissance Dam which Egypt says will reduce its water supply of the Nile River.

Despite a cooperation agreement signed between Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia in March 2015, tensions over the issue have continued. Earlier this month, security sources in Khartoum revealed to MEMO that Sudanese and Ethiopian forces operating on the border between the two countries have been placed on stand-by in preparation for any offensive Egypt might launch against Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam project.

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