Bilateral Commission between Vatican and Israel holds new meeting
The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel held new plenary meeting today, 18 January 2017, in Jerusalem, the Vatican says in a statement. It was held in order “to continue negotiations pursuant to the Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel of 1993, Art. 10 paragraph 2”. As is known, the Holy See and the State of Israel have been engaged in a decades-long negotiation process regarding the legal status of the Catholic Church as well as fiscal questions.
The meeting was chaired by Tzachi Hanegbi, Israel’s Minister for Regional Cooperation and Mgr. Antoine Camilleri, Vatican Undersecretary for Relations with States. The statement adds: “The Plenary welcomed the progress accomplished at the working level regarding the negotiations pursuant to Art. 10 paragraph 2, and is pleased that they continue in a thoughtful and constructive atmosphere. The Plenary further acknowledges the work of the Ministry of Justice regarding the implementation of the 1997 Bilateral Legal Personality Agreement.”
The Vatican and Israel “have agreed on future steps, in view of the next Plenary meeting scheduled for March 2017, in Vatican City”. After the commission’s meeting, the Holy See and the State of Israel held a bilateral consultation session at the ministry of foreign affairs, where “the delegations discussed “matters of common interest and explored new opportunities for cooperation”.
The Vatican delegation included amongst others, the Nuncio to Israel, Giuseppe Lazzarotto and Nuncio Antonio Franco, as well as the Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Israel, Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo. The Israeli delegation included the Director General of the Ministry of Justice, Emi Palmor, the Head of World Jewish and World Religions Affairs Bureau (MFA), Akiva Tor and Mrs. Tamar Kaplan, Principal Deputy Legal Advisor and Director of the Diplomatic and Civil Law Department (MFA).