US leaves UNESCO in 2018, Qatar-France vying for director

Results of secret ballot on Friday. Israele to leave UN agency, too

12 October, 19:37

    ROME- US President Donald Trump decided the United States will leave UNESCO starting in December 2018, but the country will remain as an observer, the White House said on Thursday.

    It said the reason for the decision was an alleged anti-Israel position on the part of the Paris-based UN agency for cultural heritage, of which Palestine is also a full member.

    Elections are also underway for a new UNESCO director-general to replace outgoing head Irina Bokova of Bulgaria, with results of the secret ballot expected Friday.

    The leading candidates are Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari of Qatar and Audrey Azoulay of France, followed by others including Egypt's Moushira Khattab.

    On paper, al-Kawari - whose slogan is "I'm not coming empty handed" - is favored to win.

    He has promised significant funding for the rebuilding of archaeological sites, including Palmyra in Syria.

    However, a US-led boycott by Gulf countries accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism and keeping close ties with Iran could hamper his chances. 

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean