Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry - File photo Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry - File photo

FM Sameh Shoukry opens up about Egypt's battle at UNESCO's elections, Qatari-Arab dispute

Sun, Oct. 15, 2017
CAIRO - 15 October 2017: Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry made a rare appearance on TV late Sunday, by making an interview through ON E TV channel with anchor Amr Adib, where he shed the light on the backstage secrets of the latest elections to choose UNESCO's director-general, where Egyptian ambassador Moushira Khattab ran for the post with French, and Qatari nominees.

And here are his statements during the interview:

11:10- Egypt’s support to French nominee Audrey Azoulay does not contradict its obligation to Arab nations, but Qatar can not represent Arabs as long as it supports terrorist groups, which doesn’t fit with the high position.

11:14- Egypt fought to win the post with honor, unlike Qatar, which was allegedly using “dubious methods.”

11:15- Qatar’s games almost led to unpleasant results to Egypt at UNESCO elections.

11:16- Countries are contributing to UNESCO regarding their national income.

11:17- The one who chanted against Qatar at UNESCO doesn’t belong to Foreign Ministry, or Egypt’s mission to UNESCO, but I can understand his attitude due to the latest tensions between Egypt and Qatar.

11:18- Egypt’s support to French UNESCO candidate was stemmed from Qatar’s policies towards Egypt, with our full respect to Qatari people.

11:20- Egypt and France have mutual respect and cultural interests made our support to its candidate a must. France’s presidency to UNESCO is useful more than the other candidate.

11:21- Number of friend countries supported Egypt’s nominee during UNESCO race, but I can not name them publicly, due to diplomatic calculations.

11:23- French newspaper “Le Monde” alleged that Qatar had paid some money to obtain the post, which is not proven.

11:26- Egypt’s contribution to human history qualified it for the post, unlike the other countries.

11:28- There were no contact with the Qatari delegation during UNESCO elections.

11:29- Several countries announced they will not back the Qatari nominee, due to Qatar’s support to terrorist organizations.

11:31- Qatar only relied on its funding to the UNESCO in its campaign, with no mention to their cultural superiority or how they will promote culture and education all over the world.

11:33- My message to Qatari people: We do respect you, and appreciate the brotherly relations between the two peoples, we just have reservations on your government.

11:37- I felt relieved that a capable Director-General will head an important organization like the UNESCO.

11:51- If the boycott Arab quartet decided to sit on negotiation table with Qatar, Egypt will not oppose.

11:53- I exclude extraditing fugitives like preacher Youssef al-Qaradawy to Egypt, unless there is a change in Qatari policy towards Egypt.

11:54- Egypt’s national security and Egyptians’ spelled blood are not negotiable.

00:01- Egypt has no forcibly disappeared citizens, and no one could provide us with a list of alleged disappeared citizens.

00:02- We have proved that alleged forcibly disappeared citizens had infiltrated to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

00:04- Turkey’s policies do not aim to achieve the common interest of other countries in the region.

00:07- Egypt’s president always insists that our policies rely on morals and respect for other countries.

00:10- We may visit Turkey and we share strong historical relations.

00:12- I watched the Egyptian team’s match during my presence in France and their victory pleased us.

00:15- I’m optimistic about the return of Russian tourism to Egypt.

00:17- The ministry of Foreign affairs’ headquarters will be the first of government institutions that will be transferred to the New Administrative Capital. This step will represent a breakthrough in the ministry’s work system.
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