Egypt could not leave UNESCO top post to Qatar’s candidate: Sameh Shoukry 

Daily News Egypt
4 Min Read

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi was not worried about presence of Qatar’s candidate to running against Egypt in UNESCO director-general elections, but wanted Egypt to win to maintain its position and represent Arab World, said Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry.

In a televised interview with TV presenter Amr Adib on Sunday, Shoukry’s discussed the challenges of UNESCO election, tensions with Qatar, and provided clarification for several current affairs.


Beginning with compliant Egypt recently filed to current UNESCO over alleged violation during the elections, the minister said that “there was inappropriate methods practised by Qatar to win the election, and Egypt was required to face these practices”  through insisting on winning the post.

Egypt was keen not to give the Qatari candidate the chance, due to his country involvement of supporting terrorist organizations, in which could impact the organization interests, he explained, adding that, whoever elected Qatar has the right to do so, but his vote is invalid, as the victory of France was assured, however its running for the election was surprise for Egypt.

Still there are many countries that supported Egypt in the elections and at the same there are countries that were expected to support Egypt but did not or vague reasons, Shoukry continued.

For the Egypt performance, He said that “We efficiently managed our campaign and introduced ourselves. We found acceptance and appreciation for the Egyptian candidate and Egypt’s position, and this was a motivation for us. We are satisfied with the result.”

He also added that the members of the executive board have expressed appreciation for its integrity,  honesty and the proper manner.

Commenting on the video showing a diplomat chanting against Qatar at the UNESCO headquarters, Shoukry denied that he was Egyptian national as were claimed by Al-Jazeera, and he doesn’t belong to Egyptian delegation, but more likely to non-governmental organizations.

However, “I can give him the excuse as there is a significant moral boost among individuals against Qatar due to the country policies,” the minister said.

Closure of Al-Jazzera channel was not our demand, as its part of media that address societies, but there was issue with the content, Shoukry clarified. The channel has published a number of articles and documentaries that were always aiming “distorting the Egyptian image”. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry have always condemned these publication, viewing it as false and inaccurate information.

For more explanation for Egypt stance against Qatari Candidate, Shoukry said that “Qatar contributed to ignite conflicts in the Arab world and support terrorist entities and organizations that killed innocent people in Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Libya”, stressing that at the same time Qatar was seeking to take the position of self-assertion and not to serve the Arab countries.

The minister repeatedly pointed that Qatar still does not want to respond to the demands of the four Arab states, and asserted the possibility of meeting with Qatar’s foreign minister in case if they responded to the demands. He also refereed to the document include information proving the Gulf nation accusations of supporting terrorism.

The interview also included discussion over human rights and US cut for foreign assistance to Egypt as well as inquires about Korean shipment.

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