Pope Tawadros II receiving Egypt's bidder for UNESCO Moshira Khattab in Cairo Cathedral (Photo: Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center's Facebook page)
Pope Tawadros II of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church met on Thursday with the country's nominee for the presidency of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Moushira Khattab.
During the meeting held in the papal headquarters in Cairo, Pope Tawadros II expressed the Egyptian church's support for Khattab's bid for the international position.
Egypt officially nominated in July 2016 the former minister of family and population Moushira Khattab for the position of Director General of UNESCO.
The announcement was made at the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo during a cultural dialogue event titled Egypt, UNESCO and International Cultural Issues, attended by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and foreign minister Sameh Shoukry as well other ministers and prominent figures in Egyptian society.
A former ambassador, Khattab graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University in 1967.
She began her diplomatic career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1968, before becoming Egypt's ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1990 to 1995, during its peaceful dissolution into Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Khattab served as Egypt's ambassador to South Africa from 1995 to 1999, before becoming an aide to the foreign minister.
In 2002, she was appointed as Secretary-General of the National Council for Childhood & Motherhood and in 2010 was appointed to the short-lived ministry of family and population.
Khattab is not the first Egyptian to be nominated for the UNESCO position.
In 2009, Egypt nominated former minister of culture Farouk Hosni for the post. Hosni lost the election amid allegations of anti-semitism tied to remarks he made during his term as culture minister.