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Vatican Signs Historic Treaty With Palestinians


FILE - Pope Francis is welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas upon his arrival to the West Bank city of Bethlehem, May 25, 2014. The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalized.

FILE - Pope Francis is welcomed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas upon his arrival to the West Bank city of Bethlehem, May 25, 2014. The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalized.

The Vatican on Friday signed its first ever treaty with what it calls the state of Palestine, further cementing formal ties that have angered Israel.

The accord, which has been negotiated for years, outlines the parameters of the Roman Catholic Church's activities in the West Bank.

The document also supports the two-state solution to the Palestinians' decades-old conflict with Israel, based on the 1967 borders.

The Vatican formally recognized a Palestinian state in 2013, joining 135 countries who have also done so. The United States is not among them.

Israel is opposed to such recognition, saying the only way to end the conflict is through negotiations, which have not progressed in years.

With the talks stalled, the Palestinian Authority has sought recognition by international entities as a way to move the process forward.

Material for this report came from AFP and Reuters.

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