UNESCO says it regrets U.S. decision to leave its organization

PARIS (Reuters) – UNESCO, the cultural and educational agency of the United Nations, expressed regret on Thursday over the United States’ official decision to leave its organization.

“After receiving official notification by the United States Secretary of State, Mr Rex Tillerson, as UNESCO Director-General, I wish to express profound regret at the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from UNESCO,” said UNESCO director general Irina Bokova in a statement.

Bokova added that the U.S. decision marked a loss for multilateralism and for the UN family.

The United States had canceled its substantial budget contribution to UNESCO in 2011 in protest at a decision to grant the Palestinians full membership.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Michel Rose

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