Egypt's candidate for UNESCO seat Moushira Khattab
CAIRO – 12 October 2017: Egypt has expressed gratitude and appreciation for China’s decision to withdraw its candidate for the UNESCO director-general position on Thursday, considered an endorsement of Egypt’s candidate Ambassador Moushira Khattab.
Egypt has affirmed that the decision reflects the strength and depth of strategic relations between Egypt and China, according to a statement by Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“Egypt praises this wise decision, which would only come from an ancient state with an extended historical and cultural heritage such as China,” the statement read.
In an unexpected move ahead of the fourth round of the UNESCO director-general voting process on Thursday, China announced the withdrawal of its candidate Qian Tang in favor of Egypt’s candidate, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Ahmed Abu Zeid had confirmed earlier.
Khattab acquired 13 votes in the third round, and with the Chinese candidate’s withdrawal she has the chance to garner at least 18 votes in the upcoming round. Tang - who is the current assistant-director general for the organization - got five votes in the second and third rounds. These five votes came from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Russia, and China.
Qatar’s Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari and France’s Audrey Azoulay both received 18 votes each in the third round on Wednesday to replace UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova by the start of 2018.
Egypt has affirmed that China’s support will always be appreciated by Egyptian people.