Vatican recognizes state of Palestine in new treaty

The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty Wednesday, drawing criticism from Jerusalem.

The treaty, which was finalized Wednesday but still has to be signed, makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.

The Vatican had welcomed the decision by the UN General Assembly in 2012 to recognize a Palestinian state.

But the treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state and constitutes an official recognition.

“Yes, it’s a recognition that the state exists,” said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.

Israeli officials criticized the Vatican announcement.

“We’re disappointed by the decision taken by the Holy See. We believe that such a decision is not conducive to bringing the Palestinians back to the negotiating table,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel…

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