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Vatican disappointed by negotiations with Israel

Vatican officials were reportedly disappointed with the outcome of recent negotiations with Israel on the implementation of parts of a 1993 treaty.

Catholic News Service quotes a "well informed source" who is puzzled by the apparent lack of progress.

"When the delegation of the Holy See came to the table, the delegation of Israel claimed to have no mandate to negotiate on any of the outstanding matters. This is why (the talks) haven't advanced. ... It is a mystery," said the SOURCE.

Topics discussed at Monday's meeting included the church's tax status and legal disputes over holy sites, the source said. Last August, Israel withdrew from the negotiations without explanation, said the source. In May, Israel indicated that it was prepared to resume talks.

The December 1993 "Fundamental Agreement Between the Holy See and the State of Israel" established full diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Israel. It outlined principles of religious freedom and church-state relations, leaving the more difficult issues -- such as the church's tax status and property holdings -- to subsequent joint commissions. The church has charged that several of these issues have yet to be resolved.

However the Rome-based AsiaNews agency, which has been closely following the issue, remains optimistic that negotiations between Israel and the Vatican will reach a positive conclusion "by the end of 2004". It said Monday's talks were not productive "because it was still too early".

Vatican disappointed by negotiations with Israel, source says (Catholic News Service 7/7/04)
By 2004, full relations between Israel and Vatican: ambassador gives his word (AsiaNews 8/7/04)

Vatican disappointed by negotiations with Israel, source says (The Universe)
Israeli envoy promises accord with Vatican (Catholic World News 8/7/04)
Vatican Cardinal Warns of Coming Persecution Against Christians in Europe (Lifesite 7/7/04)
Cautious welcome for renewed relations with Israel Govt (CathNews 30/6/04)
Tensions mark Israel, Vatican relations (CathNews 10/5/04)
Reopening of Israeli-Vatican Talks Is Possible (Zenit 7/5/04)
Cardinal condemns Israeli Arafat threat (CathNews 27/4/04)
Church officials criticise US support for Israeli PM (CathNews 19/4/04)
Israel promises to fix Church personnel visa problem (CathNews 14/4/04)
Israeli checkpoints disrupt Palestinian Catholic parish life (CathNews 1/4/04)
Holy Land nuns, priests "treated like illegal immigrants" (CathNews 25/4/04)

9 Jul 2004