Vatican signs treaty with Palestine

2015-06-26 16:49
The Vatican signed a treaty with the "State of Palestine” saying it hoped its legal recognition of the state would help stimulate peace. (L'Osservatore Romano, Pool Photo via AP)

The Vatican signed a treaty with the "State of Palestine” saying it hoped its legal recognition of the state would help stimulate peace. (L'Osservatore Romano, Pool Photo via AP)

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Vatican City - The Vatican signed its first treaty with the "State of Palestine" on Friday, calling for "courageous decisions" to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a two-state solution.

The treaty concerned the Catholic Church's activities in areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

The Israeli foreign ministry said it regretted the move, calling the signing of a treaty, which implies there is an official Palestinian state, "a hasty step [that] damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement".

But Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican's foreign minister, said he hoped the agreement could be a "stimulus to bringing a definitive end to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which continues to cause suffering for both Parties".

He said he hoped that a peace process directly negotiated between Israelis and Palestinians could resume and lead to a two-state solution.

"This certainly requires courageous decisions, but it will also offer a major contribution to peace and stability in the region," he said..

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in 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.

Since then the Vatican has de facto recognised a "State of Palestine" and Pope Francis referred to it by that name when he visited the Holy Land last year.

Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  palestine  |  israel  |  vatican city  |  middle east peace

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