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Moscow praises UN help to Palestinian refugees

January 10, 21:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Moscow hails the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

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MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. Praising the role of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Russia has allocated $10 million in funding for its work in 2017-2021, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

Moscow attaches particular importance to the UNRWA’s role and highly praises the agency’s contribution to alleviating the suffering of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

"For many years, the agency has managed to abide by a balanced and unbiased policy and, regardless of the external pressure, to avoid politicization of its efforts and to efficiently implement its extensive mandate in rather sensitive conditions," the Russian foreign ministry said. "Another recognition of UNRWA’s role is our financial donations of ten million of US dollars to its budget in 2017-2021."

"Russia’s assessments of the agency’s activities are shared by the world’s overwhelming majority," the ministry said. "On 7 December 2017, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution A/RES/72/82 in support of UNRWA. The vote was 162 in favor and six against."

The Russian foreign ministry pointed out that the agency should carry on with its work until "a fair solution to Palestinian refugees’ issues is ensured."

On January 2, US President Donald Trump said the US would cut off funding for Palestine as the Palestinians were "no longer willing to talk peace" with Israel. A few days later, the Axios news portal said citing diplomatic sources that Washington had frozen $125 million in funding for the UNRWA.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said hailing the US step that the agency should be shut down and its funding should be shifted to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General St·phane Dujarric said "the UNRWA is to continue with those services until a just and lasting peace is found to this conflict."

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