Egypt's candidate for the position of UNESCO director-general, Moushira Khattab, managed to reach 18 votes in the fourth round of voting by the organization's executive board in Paris Thursday afternoon, tying her with France's Audrey Azoulay, Al-Arahm Arabic website reported on Thuesday.
Qatar's candidate, former Culture Minister Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, remains in the lead with 22 votes, having gained four in this round.
There will be an eliminating ballot between Khattab and Azoulay on Friday to determine who will run against Al-Kawari in a final vote on the same day.
Shortly before the vote China withdrew its candidate, Qian Tang, in favour of Egypt's Khattab, ceding to her the five votes afforded to Tang in the previous round.
Egypt's foreign ministry officially thanked China for its support.
Lebanon also withdrew its candidate Vera El-Khoury, after she held only four votes in round three, though the country has not yet endorsed a remaining candidate.
Khattab, 71, is a former minister of family and population. She served as Egypt's ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1990 to 1995, and ambassador to South Africa from 1995 to 1999.