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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Vatican recognises 'state of Palestine' in new treaty

Mahmoud Abbas and Pope Francis last met in Vatcian City in June 2014

The Vatican has officially recognised a Palestinian state in a new treaty.

The treaty, which was finalised on Wednesday but still has to be signed, makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestinian Liberation Organisation to the "state of Palestine".

The Vatican had welcomed the decision by the UN General Assembly in 2012 to recognise a Palestinian state. But the treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state and constitutes an official recognition.

The treaty comes as Pope Francis prepares for a visit by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday before the canonisation of two new saints from the Holy Land the following day.

Israel said it was "disappointed".

In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said the move would not help the peace process and "distances the Palestinian leadership from returning to direct and bilateral negotiations."

It said it would study the treaty agreement and "consider its steps accordingly".

Credit to The Telegraph

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