January 19, 2018 / 6:45 PM / 4 months ago

U.S. funding hold will hurt U.N. effort to help Palestinian refugees: Russia's Lavrov

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a U.N. news conference on Friday that the U.S. decision to withhold funds for a U.N. agency that assists Palestinians would seriously undermine efforts to meet the needs of refugees.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

“This decision ... undermines in a serious way the efforts to satisfy the needs of Palestinian refugees in the region,” Lavrov said through a translator. “We’ll consult all stakeholders and we’ll see what we can do.”

The United States said this week it had decided to pay the U.N. Relief and Works Agency $60 million but was putting a hold on another $65 million it had been expected to offer. The U.S. State Department also said it would not provide an additional $45 million in food aid it had pledged for Palestinians.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Lisa Lambert

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