Vatican signs treaty with “State of Palestine”

30-06-2015 11:25


Paul Gallagher, the British archbishop who is the Vatican’s de facto foreign minister, signed the accord on behalf of the Holy See in the presence of guests including Vera Baboun, the mayor of Bethlehem, the Palestinian town considered to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ.


In a Foreign Ministry statement, Israel said that the move hurt peace prospects and would discourage the Palestinians from returning to direct negotiations.


Israel’s Foreign Ministry expressed regret over the decision.


I would like, first and foremost, to welcome you and your Delegation to the Secretariat of State, on the auspicious occasion of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Palestine, which marks an important step on the path of good relations which for some time have happily existed between the Parties.


“Yes, it’s a recognition that the state exists”, said Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi last month.

Israel is also likely frazzled by the Palestinian Authority’s decision to take on Israel at the worldwide Criminal Court (ICC).


Israel also said it could have implications on its future diplomatic relations with the Vatican.


The document determines the activities of the Catholic Church in the Palestinian territories and defends a peaceful and negotiated solution for two states in the region.


The Marianne of Gothenburg is part of the so-called Freedom Flotilla III – a convoy of ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists including Ghattas, a former Tunisian president and at least one European lawmaker. “The local Church has been shown to be an effective agent, providing a valuable contribution not only towards the consolidation of the ecclesial reality, but also to the image of Palestine and the Holy Land as a whole”, wrote Buonomo. 


He then added, the shift was simply in line with the Holy See’s position. “By granting the Palestinians official recognition without first requiring them to make peace with Israel, Pope Francis and the church have only made it less likely that this will ever happen”, Jonathan Tobin wrote for Commentary magazine on May 13.


The Vatican signed its first treaty with the State of Palestine on Friday, reinforcing its support of a two-state solution and calling for “courageous decisions” to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


The Palestinians celebrated the vote as a milestone in their quest for global recognition. Most countries in Africa, Asia and South America have individually recognised Palestine. Over the a year ago the European Parliament as well as the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Spain and France have all passed non-binding motions in favour.


Topics : #RecognisePalestine #The Vatican #recognition of Palestinian statehood

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