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US halts $60 mn contribution to Unesco over Palestine

Tuesday November 01, 2011 09:56:37 AM, IANS

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Washington: The US government Monday halted its $60 million financial contribution to the UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) after the latter admitted Palestinian National Authority (PNA) as a full member, Xinhua reported.

"We were to have made a 60-million-dollar payment to Unesco in November and we will not be making that payment," the US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said during the daily news briefing.

The formal admission of the PNA by the Unesco is "premature", said White House spokesman Jay Carney earlier Monday, adding that such a move will undermine the Middle East peace process.

"Today's vote at Unesco to admit the Palestinian (National) Authority as a member is premature and undermines the international community's shared goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East," said Carney.

Carney's remarks came after the PNA was admitted to the Unesco as a full member in a vote at the 193-member UN agency's general conference in Paris.

The PNA received 107 votes for its membership bid to join the Unesco, while 14 countries voted against and 52 others abstained, the Unesco stated.

The Unesco's 36th general conference that opened in Paris Oct 25 will end Nov 10.





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