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UNESCO gives Palestinians full membership

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UNESCO gives Palestinians full membership
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The UN’s cultural agency UNESCO has given the Palestinians full membership, boosting their bid for state recognition at the United Nations.

Of 173 countries voting, 107 backed the move. Russia, China, and France were among those voting in favour.

But Israel voted ‘no’ and said the result would harm prospects for resuming Middle East peace talks. The United States, which provides 22 per cent of UNESCO’s funding, also voted against.

Under US law, the admission of Palestine as a full UNESCO member triggered a cut-off in funding from Washington to the Paris-based agency.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the United States had no choice but to halt funding. She said the US would not make a planned $60 million (43 million euros) transfer that was due in November

Washington has vowed to veto the Palestinians’ statehood bid at the UN Security Council.

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