Vatican formally recognizes State of Palestine

The Vatican announced Saturday its June accord to extend full diplomatic recognition to Palestine has gone into effect.

The Holy See released a statement confirming implementation of the agreement between Vatican Foreign Minister Archbishop Paul Gallagher and his Palestinian counterpart, Riyad al-Maliki, which read:

“The Holy See and the State of Palestine have notified each other that the procedural requirements for its [the agreement’s] entry into force have been fulfilled, under the terms of Article 30 of the same Agreement.”

Palestinian Liberation Organization Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, said:

“On behalf of the Palestinian leadership and the people of Palestine, we welcome the agreement signed between the Vatican and Palestine on June 26, 2015 which came into force on Saturday. This momentous occasion confirms the historical identity of Palestine and its culture of tolerance and inclusion. The Palestinian people have been entrusted with a major component of human cultural heritage and sacred history of the three monotheistic religions.”

A largely symbolic gesture, the agreement concluded in June and enacted Saturday is widely believed to be an undertaking to promote peace in the region, protect persecuted Christians, and create an expanded role for the Vatican in the protracted Arab-Israeli conflict.

Although the entire text is not available to the public, what is known is the agreement underwrote Palestinian cooperation to protect Christian persons and property in exchange for enhancing Palestine’s position globally and encouraging a two-state solution in the Middle East.

One uneasy aspect exists:  While the agreement remains undisclosed, the pact between Palestine and the Vatican conceivably views a Palestinian State through a lens of the pre-1967 borders, not including areas occupied by Israel after the Six Day War.

 

[RT News] [Photo courtesy cbc.ca]