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October 23, 2017

US withdraws from UNESCO over 'anti-Israel' bias

The logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is seen in front of its headquarters in Paris, France, October 4, 2017. /REUTERS
The logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is seen in front of its headquarters in Paris, France, October 4, 2017. /REUTERS

The United States is withdrawing from UNESCO, the United Nation's cultural and educational agency, effective December 31, the US State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

"This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organisation, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO," the department said, adding that the United States would seek to "remain engaged ...as a non-member observer state in order to contribute US views, perspectives and expertise."

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