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Vatican Officially Recognizes State of Palestine

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Published on May 15, 2015 with No Comments

Israel ‘disappointed’
The Israeli foreign ministry said it was “disappointed” by the development. “This move does not promote the peace process and distances the Palestinian leadership from returning to direct and bilateral negotiations,” the ministry said. “Israel will study the agreement and will consider its steps accordingly.”
The Vatican concluded its first treaty that formally recognises the State of Palestine, a move that gives legal weight to the Holy See’s years-long recognition and that drew fast criticism from supporters of Israel.
The agreement, which the Vatican said aimed to “enhance the life and activities of the Catholic Church and its recognition at the judicial level,” comes days before Pope Francis is due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is likely to solidify relations between the Vatican and Palestinians.
The text of the treaty, covering Church activities in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, has been concluded and will be officially signed by the respective authorities “in the near future,” said a joint statement released by the Vatican.
The U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution on Nov. 29, 2012 recognising Palestine as an observer non-member state. This was welcomed at the time by the Vatican, which has the same observer non-member status at the United Nations.
“We have recognised the State of Palestine ever since it was given recognition by the United Nations and it is already listed as the State of Palestine in our official yearbook,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said.
During a visit to the Middle East a year ago, Francis delighted his Palestinian hosts by referring to the “state of Palestine” and giving support for their bid for full statehood recognition.

 

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