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US to pull out of UNESCO amid Palestinian tensions

PARIS (AP) -- U.S. officials have told The Associated Press that the United States is pulling out of UNESCO, after repeated criticism of resolutions by the U.N. cultural agency that Washington sees as anti-Israel.

The U.S. stopped funding UNESCO after it voted to include Palestine as a member in 2011, but the State Department has maintained a UNESCO office at its Paris headquarters and sought to weigh in on policy behind the scenes. The withdrawal was confirmed Thursday by U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to be publicly named discussing the decision. It comes as UNESCO is voting to choose a new director.

Senior U.S. officials, including U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, have issued repeated denunciations of UNESCO.