FM Malki: US Withdrawal from UNESCO Regrettable

Ramallah, MINA – Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said Saturday that the decision by the United States to withdraw from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) under the pretext it was biased against Israel is regrettable.

The US decision, which was followed by Israel, came after UNESCO voted last week in favor of two Palestinian resolutions on Jerusalem and education.

“It is a regrettable decision and a negative precedent as well as an attempt to politicize the work of this important organization,” WAFA reported, citing Malki in a statement.

He said that “what are unfortunate in this decision are its wrong rational and justification as well as the irresponsible and erroneous accusations of UNESCO that it is anti-Israel.”

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He said the US “deliberately confuses criticism of Israel, the occupying Power, for its documented violations of the regulations and principles of international law with hostility and prejudice, which is not true in the case of Israel.”

Malki stressed that “granting Israel absolute impunity from accountability and submission to legal proceedings applied to all other countries abiding by the law is dangerous and misleading and will be counterproductive.”

UNESCO’s decisions reflect the collective will and the opinion of the majority of its member states and no single state has the right to challenge or change these decisions, he said.

“To oppose UNESCO’s decisions that express the policies of sovereign states is undemocratic and unacceptable,” he said.

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Malki said that Palestine will continue to work toward promoting UNESCO’s objectives in fields of education, cultural diversity, science and peace-building, “which are not political goals.”

Palestine, he said, “would not apologize or be afraid to shoulder its responsibilities toward the best interests of its people, along with our national and international responsibilities,” promising to remain an active participate in different multilateral forums. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)