Saturday, November 26, 2005

Some progress on the Vatican-Israel front

Negotiations toward this agreement have been lagging for more than 10 years, with Vatican officials expressing steadily greater concern about the lack of progress. The "fundamental agreement" of 1993, which led to diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel, called for the prompt conclusion of the juridical accord.

On November 17, when Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) met with visiting Israeli President Moshe Katsav, the Vatican issued a statement indicating that the Pope had spoken of the need to implement existing agreements between the two states-- an obvious reference to the absence of a juridical pact. President Katsav stated publicly that he would press for conclusion of the accord.

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