Jewish groups took issue with al-Kawari#8217;s candidacy, citing a preface he wrote to a 2013 Arabic book called #8220;Jerusalem in the Eyes of the Poets#8221; that they claim is anti-Semitic. He wrote #8220;We pray to God to liberate (Jerusalem) from captivity and we pray to God to give Muslims the honor of liberating it.#8221;
French media reported that Qatar recently invited several members of the UNESCO executive board on an all-expenses-paid trip to Doha. In addition, the vote came as Egypt and three other Arab nations continued a months-long boycott of Qatar over allegations that the government funds extremists and has overly warm ties to Iran.
While the Trump administration had been preparing for a likely withdrawal from UNESCO for months, the timing of the State Department#8217;s statement Thursday was unexpected. Bokova expressed #8220;profound regret#8221; at the U.S. decision and defended UNESCO#8217;s reputation.
France#8217;s Audrey Azoulay wins vote to be next UNESCO chief