PARIS, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Audrey Azoulay, director general of Paris-based UNESCO on Friday regretted Israel's move to quit the UN education and culture body, noting the necessity to dialogue to bridge gap among member states.
"In my capacity as Director-General of UNESCO, I was officially notified today by the Israeli Government of Israel's withdrawal from the Organization effective on 31 December 2018, a decision which was announced on 12 October 2017," Azoulay said in a statement.
Israel has been a member of UNESCO since 1949, "I regret this deeply, as it is my conviction that it is inside UNESCO and not outside it that States can best seek to overcome differences in the Organization's fields of competence," Azoulay stressed.
In the face of disagreements among member states, engaging fully in the work of UNESCO makes possible sustained dialogue, cooperation and partnerships that are more necessary than ever, she added.
On Oct. 12, the United States formally notified the UNESCO that it would withdraw from the organization on Dec. 31, 2018. On the same day, Israel welcomed this decision and announced it was considering a similar move due to the body's "anti-Israel" bias.