US Plans To Withdraw From 'Anti-Israel' UNESCO

US Plans To Withdraw From 'Anti-Israel' UNESCO

The US is reported to be on the verge of withdrawing from UNESCO, after accusing the institution of anti-Israel bias, Foreign Policy reported today.

There has been no immediate comment from the U.S. government.

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

Washington will remain in the organization "as a non-member observer state in order to contribute USA views, perspectives and expertise", the statement said.

Trump would not be the first US President to withdraw support from UNESCO.Trump's predecessor Barack Obama slashed US funding to the organization in 2011 after it voted to accept Palestine as a full member-state.Former president Ronald Reagan quit the organization altogether in the 1980's.

U.S. has earlier pulled out from UNESCO as well.

Paris-based UNESCO, which began work in 1946, is known for designating World Heritage sites such as the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria and the Grand Canyon National Park.

It says the withdrawal will take effect December 31, 2018.

US officials said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the decision and that it was not discussed with other countries but an internal USA government deliberation.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the decision several weeks ago, and told French President Emmanuel Macron Washington was considering leaving during a meeting with President Donald Trump in late September on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. 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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