Russian motion delays vote on Palestinian heritage sites

October 18, 2012 19:50

Russia on Wednesday tabled a resolution at a UNESCO executive board meeting to delay a vote on a proposal that would name 5 locations in the Palestinian territories as World Heritage Sites, according to the Bethlehem-based Ma'an News Agency.

Russia's motion to postpone the vote for six months passed 28 to 23.

According to Ma'an, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki summoned Moscow's ambassador to the PA to clarify Russia's call to postpone the vote.

Al-Malki described the decision as unfortunate and said it would allow Israel to continue attacking Palestinians, Ma'an reported. He concluded by saying that "all Israeli attempts to obliterate the Palestinian cultural identity through settlements and settlers attacks are doomed to fail. The Palestinian people are steadfast, and will not leave their lands."

Last week, UNESCO chief Irina Bokova said the cultural agency was facing its "worst ever financial situation" after the US cut funding to the organization in the wake of the agency's admission of "Palestine."

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