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United States Withdraws From UNESCO

The United States announced Thursday that it will withdraw from the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization , accusing the body of “anti -Israel bias .”

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Washington would establish an “observer mission ” to replace its representation at the Paris – based agency .

The United States was angered in 2011 when UNESCO members granted Palestine full membership of the body , despite opposition from its ally Israel .

Washington opposes any move by UN bodies to recognize the Palestinians as a state , believing that this must await a negotiated Middle East peace deal.

But US President Donald Trump ’s administration is also reviewing many of its multilateral commitments , pursuing what he calls an “America First ” foreign policy .

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Nauert said the State Department had notified UNESCO ’s outgoing Director -General Irina Bokova of their decision earlier Thursday .

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