VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A historic agreement signed between the Holy See and Palestinethat supports a two-state solution in the Holy Land has gone into effect, theVatican announced.
"The agreement, consisting of a preamble and 32 articles, regards essential aspectsof the life and activity of the Church in Palestine, while at the same timereaffirming the support for a negotiated and peaceful solution to the conflictin the region," the Vatican said in a statement Jan. 2.
Thetwo parties signed the Comprehensive Agreement between the Holy See andthe State of Palestine at the Vatican June 26. The accord focuses mostlyon the status and activity of the Catholic Church in the Palestinian territories.It assures the church "juridical recognition" and"guarantees" for its work and institutions in there.
The Comprehensive Agreement follows up on the BasicAgreement, signed in 2000, between the Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organization, and was the result of years-long bilateralnegotiations.
Althoughthe Comprehensive Agreement is considered as the first officialrecognition of the state of Palestine by the Holy See, the Vatican has referredto the State of Palestine since January 2013. The Vatican alsopraised the United Nations’ recognition of Palestinian sovereignty in 2012.