United States pulls out of UN cultural organization

US Plans To Withdraw From 'Anti-Israel' UNESCO

US drops out of Unesco over arrears, 'anti-Israel bias'

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.

A native of Bulgaria, Bokova defended UNESCO's reputation, noting its efforts to support Holocaust education and train teachers to fight anti-Semitism.

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

Unesco, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization known for its designation of world heritage sites, is a global development agency with missions that include promoting sex education, literacy, clean water and equality for women.

According to AP, Washington made the move due to "tensions over Palestine, specifically because of a resolution adopted by UNESCO, which Washington sees as being anti-Israeli".

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While the USA stopped funding UNESCO after it voted to include Palestine as a member in 2011, the State Department has maintained a UNESCO office at its Paris headquarters and sought to weigh in on policy behind the scenes.

United States has stopped funding the UNESCO over issues related to Palestine in 2011.

A representative of the USA delegation to UNESCO referred Reuters to the State Department.

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.

If it does withdraw from UNESCO, the U.S. would remain as an observer state in meetings. The withdrawal was confirmed Thursday by USA officials speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to be publicly named discussing the decision.

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