Egyptian Ashraf El-Ashry, Al-Ahram Editor-in-Chief, and Yassin Ahmad, president of the Ethiopian Institute for Public Diplomacy, exchanged threats regarding the opening of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam during a TV debate. The debate was aired on Russia Today TV on June 8, 2021. El-Ashry said that Cairo will never let the Renaissance Dam turn into a spigot that cuts off water from 100 million Egyptians. He added that he hopes that the Ethiopian leadership takes a long look in the mirror. El-Ashry said that they must know that the extent of the losses and disasters that would befall the Ethiopians would have a calamitous effect on them and could take them back to the Stone Age. In return Ahmad said that if Egypt bombs the Renaissance Dam, Ethiopia will not sit idly by and it might bomb the Aswan Dam. He said: "Either we swim together, or sink together."
Ashraf El-Ashry: "The Renaissance Dam, the Blue Nile, and the Nile River are international water resources that everyone should benefit from. It is not for private use. Cairo will never let the Renaissance Dam turn into a spigot that cuts off water from 100 million Egyptians. Some countries should know their place, politically and militarily, before talking to regional superpowers, so that they would not be subjected to all kinds of dangers and disasters. I believe that Ethiopia has enough on its plate right now. I hope that the political discourse of my colleague and of the Ethiopian leadership would be more realistic and that they take a long look in the mirror, because the extent of the losses and disasters that would befall the Ethiopians would have a calamitous effect on them and could send them back to the Stone Age."
Yassin Ahmad: "The second filling [of the Renaissance Dam] will not harm Sudan and Egypt. Bur if any [negative] reaction takes place, on the part of Egypt and Sudan, and the dam —God forbid — is target by a military strike, I believe that Egypt would be held accountable under international law, which would not be lenient. Egypt would become even more isolated from [the rest of] Africa. And maybe. If the dam is bombed, Ethiopia would not stand idly by, and bomb the Aswan High Dam. Either we swim together, or we sink together."