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Israel notifies UNESCO of its withdrawal

December 30, 2017, 0:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Prime Minister Benjamin Neatnyahu ordered to prepare his country’s withdrawal from UNESCO in mid-October

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©  AP Photo/Francois Mori, File

MOSCOW, December 29. /TASS/. UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay received an official notification by the Israeli authorities about the country’s withdrawal from the organization.

"In my capacity as Director-General of UNESCO, I was officially notified today by the Israeli Government of Israel’s withdrawal from the Organization effective on 31 December 2018, a decision which was announced on 12 October 2017," Azoulay said in a statement, posted on the organization’s website.

"I regret this deeply, as it is my conviction that it is inside UNESCO and not outside it that States can best seek to overcome differences in the Organization’s fields of competence," she went on.

The United States announced its withdrawal from UNESCO on October 12. Later that day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Neatnyahu ordered to prepare his country’s withdrawal from UNESCO.

A Member of UNESCO since 1949, Israel decided to suspend its cooperation with the organization after the executive council of UNESCO adopted a resolution, condemning Israel for posing obstacles to Muslims willing to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

In 2011, the United States refused to make contributions to UNESCO after it granted the full-fledged membership to Palestine, and Israel followed suit. As a result, UNESCO lost 22% of its financing.

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