Sunday, June 1, 2008

Vatican, Israel report progress in talks

The plenary meeting of the Bilateral Holy See-Israel Commission to implement the Fundamental Agreement signed 15 years ago ended today in the Vatican after making “real progress", reports
Reports indicate that all participants came out of the meeting with “cautious satisfaction”.

Although it is not known what was discussed, from the start the Church has called on Israeli authorities to recognise its historic tax exemptions as well as return Church properties lost over the years.

The Commission decided that its next meeting will take place in December. The recent round of negotiations comes after five years of deadlock. They began with a meeting on 21 May 2007, followed by another on 13 December 2007, and then today’s session.

With the next plenary meeting scheduled for December in Jerusalem, the Commission now seems set to meet on a regular basis, twice a year.

Background Reading: Israel-Vatican Relations & The Fundamental Agreement February 12, 2007.