UNESCO palestine membership
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The United Nations' cultural agency decides to give Palestinians full membership of the body, a vote that will boost their bid for recognition as a state at the United Nations. UNESCO is the first U.N. agency the Palestinians have sought to join as a full member since President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full membership of the United Nations on Sept. 23. The United States, Canada and Germany voted against Palestinian membership. Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa and France voted in favor. Britain abstained. Washington is likely to cut funding to UNESCO over the vote.

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The UN's cultural agency UNESCO has given the Palestinians full membership, boosting their bid for state recognition at the United Nations.

Of 173 countries voting, 107 backed the move.

Russia, China, and France were among those voting in favour.

But Israel voted 'no' and said the result would harm prospects for resuming Middle East peace talks. The US, which provides 22 per cent of UNESCO's funding, also voted against.

Under American law, the admission of Palestine as a full UNESCO member triggers a cut-off in US funding to the Paris-based agency.

Washington has vowed to veto the Palestinians' statehood bid at the UN Security Council.