A new meeting, in plenary session, of the Permanent Bilateral Commission of Work between the Holy See and the State of Israel was held yesterday, Wednesday, January 18 at Jerusalem, to continue negotiations based on Article 10 comma 2 of the 1993 “Fundamental Agreement” between the Holy See and the State of Israel. It has now been decades that the two States have been negotiating an Agreement regarding fiscal matters and the juridical status of the Catholic Church, among other issues.
A Vatican note explained that the session “accepted the progress made by the Work Commission regarding negotiations based on Article 10 comma 2 and is pleased that they were carried out in a reflective and constructive atmosphere.” Moreover, the plenary acknowledged the work done by the Ministry of Justice regarding the implementation of the 1997 Bilateral Agreement on the Juridical Personality” of the Church.
The parties then “agreed on future steps, in view of the forthcoming plenary planned for March 2017 in Vatican City.” After the meeting of the Bilateral Work Commission, the Holy See and Israel held a session of bilateral consultations at the Foreign Ministry during which both delegations “discussed matters of common interest” and “explored new opportunities for cooperation.”
The meeting was presided over by the Minister of Regional Cooperation of the State of Israel, Tzachi Hanegbi, and by Monsignor Antoine Camilleri, Vatican Under-Secretary for Relations with States. Present, among others, in the Vatican delegation were the Nuncio in Israel, Giuseppe Lazzarotto and Nuncio Antonio Franco, together with the Vicar of the Latin Patriarchate for Israel, Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo. The Israeli delegation included the General Director of the Ministry of justice, Emi Palmor, the Head of the Office for Jewish and Religious Affairs in the World, Akiva Tor, and Mrs Tamar Kaplan, First Vice-Procurator of the State and Director of the Law Department.