USA to quit UNESCO over anti-Israel bias

UNESCO and Jerusalem

UNESCO and Jerusalem

"The United States indicated", Nauert added, "its desire to remain engaged with UNESCO.to contribute US views" on issues including "the protection of world heritage, advocating for press freedoms, and promoting scientific collaboration and education".

The decision to leave UNESCO comes at a time when the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is voting to choose a new director this week.

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The Trump administration announced Thursday that it would withdraw from UNESCO, the United Nations cultural organization, after years of the United States distancing itself because of what it saw as the group's "anti-Israel bias". The U.S. withdrawal goes into effect at the end of 2018. State Dept. spokesperson Heather Nauert cited what she claims is an "anti-Israel bias", along with "mounting arrears" as America's reasons for pulling out.

The state department said it would establish an observer mission at the Paris-based organisation to replace its representation. In July, UN ambassador Nikki Haley condemned UNESCO for declaring the Tomb of the Patriarchs an endangered Palestinian world heritage site.

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The UN Education Science and culture organization had strained its relations with United States, following UNESCO's acceptance of Palestine as a full member.

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