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Libya Suspends UNESCO Collaboration over Bulgarian Head

Date: 27.10.2009

Libya has officially confirmed it stops its collaboration with UNESCO in the wake of the election of Bulgarian Irina Bokova as Director General of the UN cultural organization.

Irina Bokova, 57, defeated Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosny after a suspenseful and drawn-out race, sealing victory in the fifth round of balloting at the organization's Paris headquarters on September 22. The appointment of Bokova as UNESCO Director General was officially confirmed at a general conference on October 15.

Libya's delegation to UNESCO expressed its disappointment and disagreement with the election of Irina Bokova in a letter, circulated on Monday and cited by the Swedish News Agency.

Libya does not wish to be part of an organization that is headed by a candidate from this country, the letter says.

Libya motivate its decision by saying that Bulgaria does not respect the international conventions regarding prisoner's exchange, because it freed after their arrival in Bulgaria the nurses who received life sentences by a court in Libya.

The letter points out that the country will suspend its cooperation program with UNESCO and will withdraw its candidates from the Executive Council and all the other committees of the organization.

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