United States pulls out of UN cultural organization

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova of Bulgaria

United States has finally withdrawn from UNESCO citing issues relating to Palestinian Tensions.

According to the American Foreign Policy news site, the White House is planning to pull out of UNESCO in an attempt to save money and due to the United Nations body's anti-Israel bias.

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

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

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.

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"This decision was not taken lightly", according to a State Department statement on Thursday. The U.S. will remain an observer in the Paris-based cultural, scientific and educational organization.

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

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.

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 decision comes after a number of resolutions were criticised by UNESCO, which was termed as anti-Israel by the United States.

According to the report, the move, which is expected to be announced as early as next week, would allow the USA to remain as an observer state in the organization that it helped establish after World War II. The withdrawal was confirmed Thursday by US officials speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to be publicly named discussing the decision. The move was announced by Heather Nauert, spokesperson of the state department.

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