Azoulay arrives at the council hall at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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French former Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay was named to head the U.N.'s embattled cultural agency Friday, beating her Qatari rival after a politically charged contest clouded by Gulf tensions and accusations of anti-Israel bias. Azoulay, 49, came from behind after six rounds of voting to defeat Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari, also a former culture minister, after he failed to pick up support from other Gulf states that are part of an Arab coalition blockading Qatar. In the face of the Arab divisions, France presented Azoulay as a consensus figure who could mend fences and soothe tensions caused by recent resolutions against Israel.
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