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Monthly Archive for November, 2011

Sarkozy told Obama he is fed up with Israeli PM

Nicolas Sarkozy Sarkozy told Obama he is fed up with Israeli PM

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told President Barack Obama last week he was fed up with dealing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and considered him a liar. Sarkozy made the comment during a private conversation with Obama during a G20 summit in the French riviera town of Cannes last week and the remarks were overheard by a small number of journalists but not initially reported.

“I cannot bear Netanyahu, he’s a liar,” Sarkozy told Obama during a frank exchange where the US president took him to task for backing a Palestinian request for membership of the UN cultural heritage agency UNESCO.

A Reuters reporter was among the journalists present and can confirm the veracity of the comments, which were relayed by a French internet outlet today. (Source)

US cuts off UNESCO funding over Palestine vote

The United States government has cut off funds to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO), following the agency’s admission of Palestine as a full member.

Washington’s decision to withold $60m in funding, which is about one-quarter of UNESCO’s annual budget, came after 107 out of 173 countries voted in favor of the Palestinian bid for statehood.

Although UNESCO’s membership marks a small victory for Palestinian officials, it could help them protect more than 20 monumental Palestinian cultural and religious sites.

The US also condemned UNESCO’s move, saying that it “undermines” the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

Palestinians to push for full UN seat only

The Palestinians will not accept anything less than full UN membership and do not want an upgrade to an observer state in the world body, their foreign minister said.

Riyad al-Malki’s remarks on Thursday suggested the Palestinians would not seek such an upgrade once their bid for full state membership meets its widely expected fate; failure due to opposition from the United States and other governments.

Malki told journalists in Ramallah the Palestinians could have won observer state status long ago and were not interested in it now. They currently hold the status of observer entity.

Israel withholds Palestinian tax revenues

Palestinians say they are outraged by the Israeli government’s decision to withhold millions of dollars of tax revenues from them while accelerating settlement construction. The decision follows Palestine being recognised as a state by UNESCO — the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

There are now 150,000 Palestinian Authority employees across the West Bank and Gaza who do not know whether they will receive their full salaries next week.

UNESCO membership, Palestine’s victory

A prominent university professor says that the Palestinians’ entry into UNESCO will lead to their full membership in the United Nations, in an exclusive interview with Mukhaimer Abu Sa’ada, professor of political science at al-Azhar University