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Palestinian national flag raised at UNESCO headquarters


20:17, December 13, 2011

PARIS, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian flag was raised at the headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris on Tuesday, over one month after its admission as a full member to the UN agency.

The Palestinians were admitted as the 195th member of the agency on Oct. 31 with 107 countries out of 173 voting in favor and 14 against the bid. Fifty-two abstained from the vote.

UNESCO official said the flag-hoisting ceremony was a symbolic event to mark Palestine's admission as the tradition goes for each new member.

Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister Riad Al-Maliki attended the ceremony which was presided by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

Palestine's membership became official on Nov. 23 when Palestine signed and accepted UNESCO's Constitution at the National Archives in London.

To show its opposition, the United States immediately suspended its financing support to the UN cultural agency after the October vote, depriving UNESCO of 22 percent of its budget and forced UNESCO to launch saving plans.

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