Protection of Christians in the Holy Land
Vatican reports progress on agreement with the State of Israel
Vatican reports progress on agreement with the State of Israel

.- Yesterday in the Vatican, the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel held a plenary session in order to continue negotiations on article 10, para. 2 of the "Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel" of December 30 1993. The spirit of the talks was one of, “great cordiality, mutual understanding and good will.”

According to a communique made public by the working commission late yesterday afternoon, the Holy See delegation was led by Msgr. Pietro Parolin, under-secretary for Relations with States, while the Israeli delegation was headed by Aaron Abramovich, director general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The agreement between the Holy See and Israel focuses on the mutual recognition of the two entities, the need for protection of Christians and their holy sites in the Holy Land, and economic matters.

In 2003, the late Holy Father John Paul II wrote that, “the fact that we have been able to reach an accord on the full recognition of the legal personality of the Church’s institutions is a source of satisfaction, and I am pleased that an accord also appears close at hand regarding related fiscal and economic matters.”

Yesterday’s talks “took place in an atmosphere of great cordiality, mutual understanding and good will, and produced important progress and hope for yet further advances in the coming months.” The next meeting of the commission will take place in the first half of December 2007, in Israel, and in the meantime the commission will continue upon its task at the 'working level'."

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