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Lavrov Criticizes Attempts To 'Politicize' UNESCO


UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova (left) meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as part of the 38th session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris on November 6.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has criticized attempts to "politicize" the activities of the UN' cultural agency, UNESCO.

Lavrov was speaking to journalists on November 6 ahead of his address at UNESCO's General Conference in Paris.

"It is important to avoid the politicization of UNESCO's activities the way we are witnessing now through attempts to accept Kosovo into the ranks of this organization," he said.

UNESCO's executive board voted last month to recommend Kosovo as a full member state, despite fierce opposition from Serbia, which doesn't recognize its former province's independence.

Kosovo's membership bid will be put to a final vote at the UNESCO's General Conference on November 9.

PHOTO GALLERY: UNESCO Sites In Kosovo

Lavrov also expressed hope on November 6 that UNESCO will send experts to Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan to assess the destruction of cultural sites "as soon as" the security situation allows.

With reporting by Interfax and TASS
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