Sunday, 18 February, 2018, 1:37 AM
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Trump wants to cut funds for UN missions in Middle East

Published : Thursday, 15 February, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 55

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 : US President Donald Trump's administration is seeking to decrease its financial contributions to the Middle East in 2019, most notably to UN missions in Lebanon, the occupied Golan Heights, and Western Sahara.
The plan, revealed on Monday, is unlikely to make it past sceptical politicians in Congress, however.
Douglas Pitkin, the director of the state department's Bureau of Budget and Planning, told reporters on Monday that "because [the department is] looking for greater cost containment at the UN more generally, [it does] have a lower funding level than the full peacekeeping estimate".
Pitkin added that these figures are subject to change.
Trump's plan includes slashing US contributions to the United Nations mission in Lebanon, as well as international peacekeeping missions worldwide.
The Department of State said earlier this week that it seeks a 42 percent cut for the UN Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), leaving the mission with $84.2m. The UNIFIL was established in 1978, and has been supporting the Lebanese army in maintaining calm in Lebanon's south, where the country shares a border with Israel.
Cuts made to the UNIFIL may hinder its ability to perform its mandate of maintaining "security and stability in the south along the border with Israel" due to the fighting in neighbouring Syria. The administration also revealed proposed cuts to missions in at least 10 other countries and regions.    —AL JAZEERA






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