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US withdraws from UNESCO

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US Withdrawal from UNESCOThe US has announced it will withdraw from the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization, accusing the body of "anti-Israel bias".

Heather Nauert, US state department spokesperson, said on Thursday the US would establish an "observer mission" to replace its representation at the Paris-based agency.

Irina Bokova, UNESCO's outgoing director-general, said she "deeply regrets" the decision and is convinced that "UNESCO has never been so important for the US, or the US for UNESCO" given the rise of what she called violent extremism and terrorism in the world.

The decision demonstrates the US administration's "complete and total bias" towards Israel, says Mustafa Barghouti, secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative, a political party comprising secular intellectuals.

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