Friday, December 08, 2006

Israel-Vatican Commission Will Meet Shortly

Two meetings of the Israel-Holy See Permanent Bilateral Commission are scheduled in the near future-- one in December to be attended by experts, and a second in January to be attended by government ministers. They will deal with differences over the implementation of the 1993 Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the state of Israel. While mutual recognition treaties were signed by Israel and the Vatican in 1993 and 1997, negotiations on details have never been completed. Zenit yesterday reported that the Vatican hopes that these new negotiations will finalize an agreement to assure the Church ownership of Christian holy places, and to confirm the Church's tax exemptions. (See prior related posting.)