PARIS (Reuters) – The United States announced on Thursday it was withdrawing from UNESCO, the U.N.’s cultural and educational agency, complaining about how it is run and about what Washington described as bias against Israel.

“This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects U.S. concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

The withdrawal of the United States, which provides a fifth of UNESCO’s funding, is a severe

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