PARIS – The election of UNESCO's new chief has been narrowed down to two candidates, one from Qatar and the other from France.
The winner to be selected on Friday will succeed outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova, whose 8-year term leading the U.N. cultural agency was marred by financial woes and criticism over Palestine's inclusion as a member.
The final vote comes the day after the U.S. and Israel said they plan to pull out of the Paris-based organization over perceived anti-Israel bias.
Qatar's Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari and France's Audrey Azoulay are vying to get the needed 30 votes from UNESCO's executive board.
Arab countries have long wanted to lead the organization, but the Palestine issue has complicated the election.
UNESCO's general assembly will have to sign off on the board's pick.