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US withdraws from UNESCO, accuses organization of 'anti- Israel bias'

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    The United States on Thursday intimated its decision to withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency. In a press statement, US government spokesperson Heather Nauert stated that US' withdrawal will take effect on December 31, 2018, until then, it will continue to be a full-time member of the UNESCO.

    Image for representation only

    "On October 12, 2017, the Department of State notified UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova of the US decision to withdraw from the organization and to seek to establish a permanent observer mission to UNESCO," the statement read.

    The statement minced no words and claimed that the decision had been arrived at over UNESCO's "continuing anti-Isreal bias".

    "The decision was not taken lightly and reflects the US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO," the statement added.

    The statement added that US desired to remain engaged with UNESCO as a non-member observer in order to contribute to views, perspective, and expertise on some important issues undertaken by the organization including the protection of world heritage, advocating for press freedoms and promoting scientific collaboration and education," the statement said.

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