The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) headquarters – press photo The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) headquarters – press photo

U.S. media attributes Qatar’s loss in UNESCO to Gulf boycott

Sat, Oct. 14, 2017
CAIRO – 15 October 2017: American Foreign Policy attributed the loss of Qatari candidate for UNESCO elections on the position of director-general, Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al Kawari, to the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Arab neighbors.

Reflecting on the results of the UNESCO elections that resulted in the victory of the French candidate Audrey Azoulay, the magazine said on Saturday that the unexpected victory of Azoulay is a strong evidence of the long-standing “fissure” between the Gulf States.

It added the Qatari candidate could not garner the support of its Gulf neighbors, which represented a stinging blow to Doha's efforts to break the diplomatic isolation imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies since June.

“The Qatari candidate could not round up support from fellow Gulf Arabs, a sharp blow to Doha’s efforts to emerge from diplomatic isolation since Saudi Arabia and its neighbors cut off ties in June,” the magazine said.

Qatar’s relations with several Arab states have been strained since May 24 over a leaked statement attributed to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, criticizing Gulf foreign policy with Iran, describing it as “unwise”.

On 5 June, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed economic sanctions, accusing it of funding terrorism, a claim Qatar rejects. They also closed their airspace and seaports for Qatari transportation.

The Arab quartet issued 13 demands to Doha – then shortened to six principles - including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran and shutting a Turkish military base.
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