French President Emmanuel Macron - Reuters French President Emmanuel Macron - Reuters

Exclusive: Macron tries to divert Egypt's UNESCO votes to France

Fri, Oct. 13, 2017
CAIRO- 13 October 2017: It has been revealed to Egypt Today that the French President Emmanuel Macron has made phone calls with leaders of European countries and African countries speaking French, who are supporting Egypt's candidate for UNESCO top post, to change their votes in favor of France, according to reliable sources in UNESCO.

Sources said that the calls Macron made were of intense pressure to attract support for the French Candidate Audrey Azoulay in the run-off scheduled to be held Friday at 2 p.m. Cairo local time between the Egyptian candidate Moushira Khattab and Azoulay.

The winner will be the rival against Qatar’s Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari in the fifth round that is due at 6 pm Friday.

On Thursday, sources unveiled to Egypt Today some French endeavors to communicate with the Qatari delegation to coordinate before the 5th voting round of UNESCO’s director-general post.

Egyptian candidate Moushira Khattab,, who served as a top aide to former Egyptian First Lady Suzan Mubarak, obtained 18 votes in the fourth round on Thursday, to be equaled with the French candidate, while Qatar’s Al-Kawari received 22 votes.

Earlier on Thursday, Lebanese UNESCO director-general candidate, Vera El-Khoury, announced her withdrawal from the race in favor of the Egyptian candidate, granting her four votes in addition to five votes garnered by Chinese candidate Qian Tang after announcing his withdrawal in favor of Khattab as well.

The new director-general of UNESCO will be named on October 13. Then, a total of 195 members in the General Conference will be appointed in view of recommendations from UNESCO’s Executive Board.
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