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Holy See and Palestine move toward final agreement

VATICAN (SE): The Holy See Bilateral Commission and the State of Palestine signed a Basic Agreement on 15 February 2000.

On September 27 this year, representatives of the two entities met at the Vatican to acknowledge progress to date and have an informal catch up since their last meeting on January 30 in Ramallah, the Vatican Information Service reported.

The agenda for the meeting was accelerating the conclusion of the Basic Agreement.

The talks were chaired by Archbishop Antoine Camilleri, the under-secretary from the Holy See on Relations with States, and an ambassador from Palestine, Rawan Sulaiman, the assistant minister of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral Affairs.

A press release states that discussions took place in a cordial and constructive atmosphere.

The commission noted with great satisfaction the progress achieved in formulating the text of the final Basic Agreement, which deals with essential aspects of the life and activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine.

It also encouraged the efforts of the joint technical group, urging it to complete the discussions on the remaining parts of the text, the formulation of which is already at an advanced stage.

Both parties agreed that the joint technical group should continue its work in preparation for the next plenary meeting of the Bilateral Commission, planned for early 2014.

The delegation from the Holy See was made up of Archbishop Camilleri, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, the apostolic delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine; Archbishop Antonio Franco, apostolic nuncio; Monsignor Maurizio Malvestiti, under-secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Monsignor Waldemar Stanisllaw Sommertag, official of the section for Relations with States; and Father Emil Salayta, the judicial vicar of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.


The Palestinian delegation included Sulaiman, Issa Kassissieh, a representative of the State of Palestine to the Holy See; Ammar Hijazi, deputy assistant minister of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral Affairs; Azem Bishara, juridical counsellor of the Palestine Liberation Organisation; and Ammar Nisnas, a counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Palestine to the Holy See.

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