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USA pulls out of UNESCO, alleges anti-Israel bias

12 October 2017, 05:10 | Winston Chapman

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria

According to the American Foreign Policy news site, the White House is planning to pull out of UNESCO in an attempt to save money and due to the United Nations body's anti-Israel bias.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he received a notification from his country's departure from UNESCO, noting that "we have been greatly saddened by decision to leave United States as a UNESCO member".

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Washington would establish an "observer mission" to replace its representation at the Paris-based agency.

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it would withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization, after years of the United States distancing itself because of what it saw as the group's "anti-Israel bias".

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"This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects USA concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organisation, and continuing anti- Israel bias at UNESCO", State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

The withdrawal will take effect on December 31, 2018. In July, UN ambassador Nikki Haley condemned UNESCO for declaring the Tomb of the Patriarchs an endangered Palestinian world heritage site.

A plan to withdraw from the worldwide body was reportedly made several weeks ago, with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson informing French President Emmanuel Macron of America's imminent departure.



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