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

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a Security Council meeting on nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction at the United Nations in New York, U.S. January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(reuters_tickers)

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.

"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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