News 13 october — 12:15

US quits Unesco over 'anti-Israel bias

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The US is pulling out of the UN's cultural organisation Unesco, accusing it of "anti-Israel" bias, BBC reports.

The agency is known for designating world heritage sites such as Syria's Palmyra and the US Grand Canyon.

The state department said it was also concerned about mounting financial arrears at Unesco and said the agency needed to be reformed.

Unesco head Irina Bokova said the withdrawal was a matter of "profound regret".

She admitted however that "politicisation" had "taken its toll" on the organisation in recent years.

The withdrawal represented a loss to the "UN family" and to multilateralism, Ms Bokova added.

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