The Vatican’s Recognition Of Palestine Comes Into Effect
In June 2015, the Vatican signed its first treaty with the “State of Palestine,” and as of this weekend has come into effect, the Vatican said.
“With reference to the Comprehensive Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Palestine, signed on 26 June 2015, the Holy See and the State of Palestine have notified each other that the procedural requirements for its entry into force have been fulfilled,” a Vatican statement said.
The Holy See joins an array of nations and international bodies that have recognized Palestine as a state: in 2012, the UN General Assembly recognized Palestine as an observer non-member state, just like the Vatican. As recently as October 2014, Sweden also made the decision to recognize Palestine, which strained relations between the Scandinavian country and Israel.
Israel is equally critical of the Vatican’s treaty with Palestine — in which it supports a two-state solution between the warring areas — saying that it is a “hasty move that could damage prospects for advancing a peace agreement,” Reuters reported.
The Vatican’s interest in recognizing Palestine is not without reason: Reuters noted that the Pope’s desire to expand diplomatic influence within the Middle East comes at a time when Christian minorities are the subject of intense persecution.