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Israel freezes UNESCO funding

Last Updated: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 00:52

Jerusalem: Israel would stop its $2 million in annual funding to the Unesco in the wake of a vote that admitted Palestine as a full member, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Thursday.

In a vote Oct 31 at the 193-member UN agency`s general conference in Paris, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) got 107 votes for its membership bid, with 14 countries against. A total of 52 countries abstained.

"Such moves do not advance peace, but rather push it further away. The only path to achieving peace is via direct negotiations without preconditions," Xinhua quoted Netanyahu as saying in a statement.

The prime minister directed relevant authorities to redirect the funding "towards other initiatives cooperating to achieve the same goals in the area".

The US has also halted its $60 million financial contribution to the UN agency.

The White House termed the formal admission of Palestine to the Unesco "premature", claiming that the move will undermine the Middle East peace process.


First Published: Friday, November 4, 2011 - 00:52

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