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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Palestinian Admission to UNESCO


Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 31, 2011

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Today’s vote by the member states of UNESCO to admit Palestine as a member is regrettable, premature, and undermines our shared goal of a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East. The United State remains steadfast in its support for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state, but such a state can only be realized through direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.

The United States also remains strongly committed to robust multilateral engagement across the UN system. However, Palestinian membership as a state in UNESCO triggers longstanding legislative restrictions which will compel the United States to refrain from making contributions to UNESCO.

U.S. engagement with UNESCO serves a wide range of our national interests on education, science, culture, and communications issues. The United States will maintain its membership in and commitment to UNESCO and we will consult with Congress to ensure that U.S. interests and influence are preserved.



PRN: 2011/1844

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