US Will Withdraw From Unesco Over Its 'Anti-Israel Bias'

Marco Green
October 12, 2017

The United States announced its intention Thursday to withdraw from UNESCO, citing concerns about the organization's "continuing anti-Israel bias".

UNESCO is best known for its World Heritage program to protect cultural sites and traditions around the world.

"It's not formal yet, but it's true", said a Western diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Trump administration has been preparing for a likely withdrawal for months, and a decision was expected before the end of the year, according to USA officials.

Foreign Policy magazine reported earlier on Thursday that Washington would formally withdraw after the 58-member UNESCO Executive Board selects its new director general on Friday.

The magazine said the decision was aimed at saving money and to protest what the U.S believes is UNESCO's anti-Israel stance.

The United States indicated to the Director General its desire to remain engaged with UNESCO as a non-member observer state in order to contribute USA views, perspectives and expertise on some of the important issues undertaken by the organization, including the protection of world heritage, advocating for press freedoms, and promoting scientific collaboration and education.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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