Vatican signs first treaty with State of Palestine

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SHAFAQNA - The Vatican has signed its first comprehensive treaty with the “State of Palestine” on Friday, thus recognizing its statehood.

The historic accord inked on Friday at the Vatican Apostolic Palace is the first between the Holy See and Palestine since Vatican used the term “State of Palestine” in February 2013, three months after the United Nations General Assembly Resolution recognized it as a non-member observer state at the U.N.

“It deals with essential aspects of the life and activity of the Catholic Church in the State of Palestine, while reaffirming support for a negotiated and peaceful resolution of the situation in the region,” said a joint statement from the signatory parties released by Vatican Press Office on Friday afternoon.

The treaty was signed by Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher on behalf of the Holy See and Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad Al-Maliki for the “State of Palestine”.

The statement stressed that the foundations of the accord had been laid by the Basic Agreement between Vatican and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on February 15, 2000.

The drafting of the treaty document was finalized on May 13.

Comprised of a preamble and 32 articles distributed in eight chapters, the treaty will enter into force when both parties notify each other in writing that the constitutional or internal legislative requirements have been met.

In October 2014, Sweden became the latest country to officially recognize Palestine as a state.

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