177 States Have Relations With Holy See

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 8, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See maintains full diplomatic relations with 177 states, with Botswana being this year’s latest edition to the list.

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The Vatican press office reported this today on the occasion of the Pope’s address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See.

The Vatican communiqué further noted that to these 177 states are added the European communities and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, as well as two missions of a special character: the mission of the Russian Federation, governed by an ambassador, and the office of the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (OLP), governed by a director.

The Holy See is also represented with permanent observer status before the United Nations, and is a member of seven U.N. agencies and organizations, observer in another 8, and either member or observer in five regional organizations.

Among the countries that do not have diplomatic relations with the Holy See are China, North Korea, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.

The Holy See established relations with Botswana on Nov. 4, 2008.

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