Joint Communique of the Bilateral Working Commission Between the Holy See and Palestine

Following the bilateral negotiations held in past years with the Palestine Liberation Organization (P.L.O), an official meeting took place in Ramallah on the 30th of January 2013, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine.

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The talks were headed by H.E. Dr. Riad Al-Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Palestine, and Msg. Ettore Balestrero, Under-Secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States.

The Parties exchanged views regarding the draft Agreement under discussion, especially the Preamble and Chapter I of the mentioned Agreement. The talks were held in open and cordial atmosphere, expression of the existing good relations between the Holy See and the State of Palestine. The Delegations expressed the wish that negotiations be accelerated and brought to a speedy conclusion. It was thus agreed that a joint technical group will meet to follow-up.

Gratitude was expressed for the Holy See’s contribution of 100.000 euro towards the restoration of the roof of the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

The Holy See Delegation was composed of H.E Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine; H.E. Archbishop Antonio Franco, Apostolic Nuncio; H.E. Msgr. Selim Sayegh, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem; Msgr. Maurizio Malvestiti, Under-Secretary of the Congregation for Oriental Churches; Msgr. Alberto Ortega Martin, Counsellor in the Section for the Relations with States of the Secretariat of the State; Msgr. Waldemar Stanislaw Sommertag, Counsellor of the Apostolic Delegation in Jerusalem and Palestine; Fr. Emil Salayta, President of the Ecclesiastical Court of the Latin Patriarchate; Fr. Pietro Felet S.C.J., Secretary General of the A.O.C.T.S.; Fr. Ibrahim Faltas O.F.M., Administrator of the Custody of the Holy Land; Mr. Sami E. Shehadeh, Advocate. 

The Delegation of the State of Palestine was composed of H.E. Hanna Amira, P.L.O. Executive Committee Member; H.E. Minister Ziad Al-Bandak, Palestinian President’s Advisor for Christian Relations; H.E. Issa Kssasieh, Deputy of P.L.O. Negotiations Department; H.E. Ambassador Rawan Sulaiman, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr. Ammar M.Hijazi, Counsellor of the Political Committee; H.E. Ambassador Dr. Amal Jadou, Assistant Minister for European Affairs.

[Original text: English]
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