In pics: Anti-Qatari lobbying protest breaks out outside UNESCO HQ



Thu, 12 Oct 2017 - 12:59 GMT


Thu, 12 Oct 2017 - 12:59 GMT

A banner prepared by protestors saying “Tamim Supports Terror”

A banner prepared by protestors saying “Tamim Supports Terror”

PARIS, France – 12 October 2017: A protest in front of the UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris has been organized by Egyptian and French activists to start at 3:00 p.m. in objection to Qatari lobbying as a mean of forcing the Egyptian candidate Moushira Khattab out of the rally for the Director-General position.

(Extract from published article on Egypt Today)
Reliable sources who attended UNESCO's voting sessions for the director-general post have revealed to Egypt Today some behind-the-scene actions between the Qatari and French candidates.




Qatar’s Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari and France’s Audrey Azoulay both received 18 votes each in the voting to replace UNESCO’s director-general Irina Bokova by the start of 2018.

Egyptian diplomat Moushira Khattab received 13 votes, according to results posted on UNESCO’s website.



According to the sources, Kawari was seen warmly receiving France’s Azoulay in his UNESCO’s candidacy room no. S. 375; apparently, what was agreed upon inside that room is what affected the voting process in its third round that took place Wednesday.

The suspicious meeting came after Vietnam withdrew its candidate Pham Sanh Chau, a decision that Azoulay knew about, especially after some inside talks indicated that France agreed with Vietnam to withdraw its candidate to strengthen the French candidate’s ground after receiving only 13 votes in the second round. Apparently, France needed Vietnam’s five votes.

Controversy has been roaming around Kawari’s candidacy as he has been accused of being anti-Semitic; moreover, it is highly believed that Qatar will buy its way into the post, using its “money weapon.”



An interview by Egypt Today with Egypt’s top diplomat Sameh Shoukry suggested Qatar was using its financial power to influence UNESCO’s 58-member executive council.

Soon after

Egypt Today

exposed the meeting, Kawari tried to silence suspicions of the deal he struck with the French candidate by tweeting a photo of him and Azoulay with the following words:
“Fair-play and hand-shake with my competitor Audrey Azoulay. We may have different visions but serving UNESCO unites us. Thanks Audrey!!”

According to observers and political experts, these backstage actions indicate suspicions roaming around the kind of deal that Qatar and France agreed upon. Aims for such a deal are either to force Egypt to withdrew in the last round for France, or to limit the competition between Qatar and France; leading the French candidate to win the post.

The row between Qatar and Egypt has its roots dating back to the Qatari crisis.

Four Arab nations, namely Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, have been boycotting the tiny emirate of Qatar since May, accusing it of sponsoring hard-line Islamist groups and supporting terrorism.

Qatar is apparently ready to give up the position to France in order to cut off Egypt’s way to the post and to ensure France as an ally against its opponents, who reject the Qatari regime’s practices of supporting and financing terrorism. Questions about whether the U.S. administration is aware of the conspiracy that is being plotted by Qatar and France remain unanswered.



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