Egyptian MP accuses 'Arab country' of financing Renaissance Dam without naming it
MP Diaa Daoud was involved in a verbal exchange with other lawmakers, who believed he was referring to the UAE during the speech.
Daoud said: "I warn the government against offering assets such as the Suez Canal to Arab and foreign investors because there are Arab countries that are our allies and put their hands in ours like a Gulf state known to all."
Rival MPs slammed Daoud's perceived allusions to the UAE, the Gulf state that the Egyptian government has strong relations.
"He belongs to the Nasserite nationalism (ideology), which called for the respect of Arabism, but he… indicated that an Arab country was involved in financing the Renaissance Dam," MP Mustafa Bakir said in response to Daoud's comments.
Bakir stressed that the UAE stood with Egypt on Ethiopia's huge dam project, which has resulted in heightened tensions between Cairo and Addis Ababa.
Egypt fears that the dam will reduce its access to Nile waters, a vital resource for the country.
According to local media, Daoud tried interrupting Bakir before the head of the parliament, Hanafi Al-Jabali, intervened to end the argument.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry denied in April that any country with warm ties to Egypt was financing the dam.
While Egypt fears the dam could deprive it of life-giving water, which it heavily relies on for irrigation, Ethiopia says the project is essential to providing electricity to its growing population and will lift millions out of poverty.
It has accused Egypt and Sudan of trying to "monopolise" the Nile River.