Egypt: Khattab Gets 12 Votes in 2nd Round of Unesco Election

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American Jewish groups are increasingly concerned that Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, the Qatari candidate for the next director-general of UNESCO - the UN's educational, scientific and cultural organization - is growing closer to achieving his goal following his success in Tuesday's second round of voting for the post.

The former minister of culture Audrey Azoulay was elected director-general of UNESCO on Friday during a vote in Paris.

The head of UNESCO is selected by a vote of its executive board members and Qian got five votes in the third round of voting, while Egypt's Moushira Khattab got 13 votes, the Post report said.

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The book to which Al-Kawari contributed a preface - entitled Jerusalem in the Eyes of the Poets and published by his own Ministry of Culture in 2013 - traffics in classical antisemitic conspiracy theories, claiming that Jews enjoy complete control of the Western media, and that Israel is responsible for the entire range of conflicts and wars in the Middle East.

China had nominated Qian, who has been serving as assistant director general of UNESCO since April 2010, to be the agency's head, but made a decision to withdraw after the latest round of voting yesterday, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported. Arab intellectuals urged French President Emmanuel Macron to withdraw his support for her.

Egypt's foreign ministry says it is demanding an inquiry into alleged "violations" during the elections for the top position at the U.N.'s cultural agency.

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In addition, the UNESCO vote comes as Egypt and three other Arab nations continue a months-long boycott of Qatar over allegations that the government funds extremists and has overly warm ties to Iran.

The next leader will have to allay fears over UNESCO's future as the agency faces a withdrawal from both the USA and Israel.

UNESCO has been accused of bias in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and it infuriated Israel and staunch ally the United States by granting full membership to Palestine in 2011.

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Haley also criticized UNESCO for "keeping Syrian dictator Bashar Assad on a UNESCO human rights committee even after his murderous crackdown on peaceful protesters".

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