Published: Nov 01, 2011 10:12 PM EDT

TORONTO (AP) - Canada is joining the U.S. in cutting off funding for the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO because it approved a Palestinian bid for full membership.
    
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Tuesday the decision is not in the best interests of peace in the Middle East, so Canada is freezing all future voluntary contributions to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
    
Canada contributes about $10 million a year to the agency.
    
The United States has also announced it will pull its $60 million in funding from UNESCO, which depends heavily on American funding.
    
The UNESCO vote represented a fallback plan for the Palestinian leadership after its bid for U.N. recognition as a state and full membership in the global body foundered in September.

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