China withdraws candidate for UNESCO chief in favor of Egypt's Moushira Khattab

Ahram Online , Thursday 12 Oct 2017

Ahmed Abu Zeid
A file photo of Egyptian foreign ministry spokepserson Ahmed Abu Zeid (Photo:Al-Ahram)

China announced on Thursday it will withdraw Qian Tang, the country's candidate for the post of UNESCO director-general, in favour of Egypt's candidate Moushira Khattab, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry announced on Twitter.

"China announces the withdrawal of its candidature to UNESCO in support of Egypt," wrote Egypt's foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid on his official Twitter account, thanking China, which he described as a "long-standing and true friend."

China's Qian Tang received five votes on Wednesday in the third round of voting by UNESCO's executive board.

Egypt's candidate Khattab came in third on Wednesday with 13 votes, trailing behind former culture ministers Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari of Qatar and Audrey Azoulay of France, who received 18 votes each.

Lebanon also withdrew its candidate, Vera El-Khoury, after she received only four votes, 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.

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