Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that in the event of a war with Egypt over the Renaissance Dam, millions of Ethiopians would be ready to defend their country.
"Some say things about use of force [by Egypt]. It should be underlined that no force could stop Ethiopia from building a dam," the Associated Press quoted the Noble-winning leader as saying yesterday during a parliament question-and-answer session.
"If there is a need to go to war, we could get millions readied. If some could fire a missile, others could use bombs. But that's not in the best interest of all of us."
Egyptian pro-government pundits and media outlets had mentioned that their country could wage war on Ethiopia to stop the dam's construction.
Ahmed stressed that his country is determined to finish the construction of the dam, "because it is an excellent" project, according to the Associated Press.
In response, Egypt expressed its "shock, great concern and deep regret" over Ahmed's statements, adding that "it is not appropriate to engage in such propositions entailing military options," according to a press release published on the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' official Facebook page.
The ministry added that it found it astonishing of Ahmed to make such statements about war when the Ethiopian prime minister has just received the Noble Peace Prize.
Egypt fears the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on Ethiopia's Blue Nile, which has been ongoing since 2012, will reduce its share of Nile water.