Exclusive: Qatari-French coalition to force Egypt’s withdrawal amid UNESCO elections



Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 10:06 GMT


Wed, 11 Oct 2017 - 10:06 GMT

Egypt's candidate for UNESCO seat Moushira Khattab- File photo

Egypt's candidate for UNESCO seat Moushira Khattab- File photo

PARIS – October 11 2017: Inside the UNESCO headquarter in Paris, in room S375 where Qatar’s Candidate for UNESCO director general post, Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Kawari, use it as a location for his election campaign, a meeting occurred minutes before the third round starts, between Kawari and the French candidate Audrey Azoulay, according to sources.

Both candidates launched a coalition, which its consequences appeared in the third round of UNESCO elections on Wednesday, as the sources told Egypt Today.

During this round, the Egyptian candidate, Ambassador Moushira Khattab, managed to increase her votes to 13, as she received 12 votes in the second round and 11 votes in the first round.

The Egyptian candidate succeeded to keep her voting bloc, without using any political or financial incentives.

The French Candidate, Audrey Azoulay’s votes raised to 18, to be equal to those received by Kawari, while Chinese Qian Tang sustained his five votes from the previous round, and Vera El Khoury Lacoeuilhe from Lebanon received four votes.

The Qatari - French coalition, which seems to have a plan, whether to force the Egyptian candidate to withdraw for France, or to have both Qatari and French candidates in the final elections, where France can use the European concerns about the Qatari candidate, and win the post.

Behind the scenes of the UNESCO elections, there are claims that Qatar is ready to give up the post for France, in order to exclude the Egyptian candidate Moushira Khattab from the race. Moreover, Qatar will win a new ally, at a time where the Middle East and Arab countries are against the Qatari practices that supports terrorist groups.

Furthermore, the United States could be a sponsor for that French - Qatari alliance, to raise pressures on the quartet fighting terrorism (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain).

The Chinese decision is critical in the fourth round on Thursday, as its candidate got 5 votes in the three rounds, so it is expected that Qian Tang will withdraw, leaving these votes to another candidate. The question is who is that candidate?

Egypt is a developing country, which has a strong strategic relation with China, so It is expected that China’s candidate will withdraw in favor of the Egyptian Candidate. It is also expected that Qian Tang will announce the call early in order to sum up support to Khattab before the next round starts. As the late announcement may not be effective as the fourth-round shows changes in situations of the member countries who have the right to vote.

There is also a possibility that the Lebanese candidate will phase out for Khattab, especially that Lebanese candidate is fully aware of the positive Egyptian role to in Lebanon, unlike Qatar’s destructive policies in the same country.

Five candidates are running for the office, including Ambassador Moushira Khattab, the candidate from Egypt.

The winning candidate must obtain 30 votes, which did not occur in the first round but possible by a potential fifth round, which is to be held on Friday. The candidates who amassed the highest number of votes in the fourth round will compete in the fifth.

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



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