UNESCO to rebuke Syria but keep it in rights committee

PARIS - UN cultural agency UNESCO is set to condemn Syria at its executive board meeting on Wednesday but fall short of Western and Arab hopes of expelling it from its human rights committee, according to a draft resolution obtained by Reuters.
The UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) executive board, which includes the United States, France and Russia, elected Syria to two panels in November, including one that judges human rights violations.
A group of Western and Arab nations had sought the expulsion of Syria from the UN cultural agency's human rights committee, the latest international effort to isolate Damascus over its violent crackdown on domestic unrest.
The resolution submitted by countries including Saudi Arabia, the United States and Britain condemns Damascus for "the continued widespread and systematic violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities."
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