The State Department says the U.S.is pulling out of UNESCO because of what Washington sees as its anti-Israel bias and need for "fundamental reform" of the United Nations cultural agency.
UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said she received official notification from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, adding she expressed "profound regret at the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from UNESCO".
The US State Department confirmed the country is officially withdrawing from UNESCO, the UN's cultural body it helped found back in 1945.More news: Apple Rumoured to be Developing Foldable OLED iPhone with LG
Paris-based UNESCO, which began work in 1946, is known for designating World Heritage sites such as the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria and the Grand Canyon National Park.
According to the American Foreign Policy news site, the White House is planning to pull out of UNESCO in an attempt to save money and due to the United Nations body's anti-Israel bias.
It is not the first time the US has withdrawn.More news: 'FEMA cannot stay in Puerto Rico forever!'
It says the withdrawal will take effect December 31, 2018.
A plan to withdraw from the global body was reportedly made several weeks ago, with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson informing French President Emmanuel Macron of America's imminent departure.
The officials, who were not authorized to be publicly named discussing the issue, said U.S.is notably angry over UNESCO resolutions denying Jewish connections to holy sites and references to Israel as an occupying power. The withdrawal was confirmed Thursday by USA officials speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to be publicly named discussing the decision.More news: Irish High Court finally approves Apple's Athenry data centre
If it does withdraw from UNESCO, the USA would remain as an observer state in meetings. The move was announced by Heather Nauert, spokesperson of the state department.
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