US Withdraws From UNESCO – State Department

By Sputnik News

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THE United States has announced that it will withdraw from United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization at the end of 2018, citing a need for reform and an anti-Israel bias in the organization, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement on Thursday.

“On October 12, 2017, the Department of State notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the US decision to withdraw from the organization … This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO,” Nauert said, adding that the decision would take effect on December 31, 2018.

UNESCO  head Irina Bokova has said the organization had received an official notification from Washington that the United States will withdraw from the organization. She called Washington’s step a “loss to multilateralism”.

“I wish to express profound regret at the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from UNESCO,” Bokova said in a statement, adding that the organization’s relations with the United States were based on shared values.

Israel’s relations with the UN cultural body have been deteriorating over the recent months. Israel has reduced payments from the funds that the country annually transfers to the United Nations in response to a ruling in UNESCO, which labeled Israel an occupant country of Jerusalem

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