Oct 31 2011

AP: US cuts funding for UNESCO after Palestinian vote

Newswire | Published 31 Oct 2011, 11:39 am | Comments Off on AP: US cuts funding for UNESCO after Palestinian vote -

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The Obama administration cut off funding for the U.N. cultural agency on Monday, after its member countries defied an American warning and approved a Palestinian bid for full membership.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the vote triggered a long-standing congressional restriction on funding to U.N. bodies that recognize Palestine as a state before an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is reached. She said the U.S. as a result would refrain from making a $60 million payment it planned to deliver in November.

“Today’s vote by the member states of UNESCO to admit Palestine as a member is regrettable, premature, and undermines our shared goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East,” Nuland told reporters. “The United States remains steadfast in its support for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state, but such a state can only be realized through direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

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