With elections of a UNESCO director-general taking place on Monday, Egypt is counting on the support of its regional and international allies to empower its candidate Moushira Khattab.
In this context, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry coordinated a series of meetings with representatives of different countries over the past months.
The last of those coordinations took place in Paris on Friday with Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki and members of the African permanent delegates to UNESCO, where Shoukry asserted the importance of the African role in promoting the Egyptian candidate.
In July 2016 in Kigali, then again in July 2017 in Adis Ababa, the African Union decided to back Khattab as the only African candidate.
This also comes as Iraq pulled out its candidate, Saleh El-Hasnaoui, on Thursday in favour of Khattab. A statement by the Iraqi Embassy in Egypt described the move as part of bilateral cooperation with Egypt in regional and international forums.
Egypt supported the Iraqi government in its conflict with the government of Iraqi Kurdistan, which held an independence referendum two weeks ago to separate itself from Iraq. Egypt suspended direct air flights to the Iraqi Kurdish region based on the Iraqi government’s request.
Shoukry discussed the candidacy of Khattab during his visits to Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, and Romania, as well as during the Security Council’s meeting on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, in addition to other foreign ministers.