Before Papal Trip, Holy See-Israel Talks Progress

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JERUSALEM, MAY 3, 2009 ( Relations between the Holy See and Israel have made “significant progress,” on the eve of the Pope’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land this week, a joint working commission reported.

In a statement released from Jerusalem, the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission Between the State of Israel and the Holy See informed on the results of last Thursday’s meeting.

The commission periodically meets in an attempt to advance negotiations regarding the 1993 Fundamental Agreement.

“The plenary meeting of the commission took place in an atmosphere of great friendship and a spirit of cooperation and good will,” the statement reported. “The plenary noted that the Working Level Commission achieved significant progress, on the eve of the upcoming important visit of the Pope in Jerusalem.

“It was agreed to hold the next plenary meeting on Dec. 10, 2009, at the Vatican. In the meantime, the working-level commission will hold meetings in furtherance of both delegations’ pledge to accelerate the talks and conclude the agreement at the earliest opportunity.”

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