After US, Israel walks out of UNESCO over perceived 'anti-Israel bias'

ANI | Updated: Oct 12, 2017 23:52 IST

Jerusalem [Israel], Oct. 12 (ANI): Walking the footsteps of the United States, Israel has withdrawn from the Paris based UNESCO.

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Nenanyahu has announced that his country will follow the United States in pulling out of the United Nations' cultural and education agency.

Earlier, the Trump administration withdrew from UNESCO post Washington purported and perceived UNESCO as "anti-Israel bias".

The move will take effect from December 31, 2018. The United States will remain a full member of UNESCO until that time.

"This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO," the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

However, the country hopes to remain a non-member, observer state, in order to contribute US opinions and expertise on issues like press freedoms and protecting world heritage.

The Israeli leader called the US decision to exit UNESCO "brave and moral", according to a statement.

UNESCO director general Irina Bokova said in a statement: "After receiving official notification by the United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, as UNESCO Director-General, I wish to express profound regret at the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from UNESCO."(ANI)

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