The executive of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will appoint his substitute.

In October 1994 the Holy See announced that the PLO and the Holy See would establish stable relations of "understanding and cooperation."

On Feb. 15, 2000, Pope John Paul II received Yasser Arafat and a delegation for the signing of a basic agreement between the Holy See and the PLO, in Arafat's capacity as representative of the Palestine National Authority.

The agreement dealt with juridical issues relative to the presence and activity of the Catholic Church in territory that was under the Palestine Authority.

It is customary for the Pope to receive ambassadors accredited by the Holy See at the conclusion of their mission.

The Vatican press office did not give details of the topics discussed during today's meeting. Such meetings are usually of a personal nature.