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UNESCO gives Palestinians full membership

Monday, October 31, 2011 - 01:30

Oct. 31 - The United Nations' cultural agency votes to give the Palestinians full membership of the body. Katharine Jackson reports.

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(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNESCO ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT KATALIN BOGYAY SAYING: "The General Conference has thus voted to adopt the draft resolution and decided to admit Palestine as member of UNESCO." UNESCO - the United Nations' cultural agency - votes to give the Palestinians full membership of the body, a vote that will boost their bid for recognition as a state at the United Nations. Palestinian delegation members leap to their feet. (Natural sound: Clapping) UNESCO is the first U.N. agency the Palestinians have joined as a full member since President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full membership of the United Nations in September. But the celebration at UNESCO headquarters in Paris is not universal. In addition to Israel, the United States, Canada, Germany and Holland voted against Palestinian membership. Washington will cut funding to UNESCO over the vote, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland announced on Monday. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN VICTORIA NULAND SAYING: "Palestinian membership as a state in UNESCO triggers long-standing legislative restrictions which will compel the United States to refrain from making contributions to UNESCO." The U.S. maintains its support for a Palestinian state, but says it can only be created through negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. Katharine Jackson, Reuters.

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UNESCO gives Palestinians full membership

Monday, October 31, 2011 - 01:30