The Secretary General of the Arab League has welcomed "the Vatican recognition of the Palestinian state.”

According to Fides, Nabil Elaraby expressed this sentiment along with his hope that other states and governments will soon follow the example of the Vatican in recognizing the state of Palestine, in a statement the League released yesterday.

The Arab League, an international organization based in Cairo, is the national entity whose words will be explicitly mentioned in the global Agreement between the Holy See and Palestine in the process of being signed in the near future.

According to its website, the Arab League is an organization that consists of independent Arab States on the territory of northern and north-eastern part of Africa and southwest Asia. The League began in March 1945 when six member states – Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia – signed an agreement in Cairo to form the League. Since then, the league has 21 members, including Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Lybia, and Saudi Arabia. The organization's goal is to look after its members’ economic, political, cultural, national and religious interests, and has actively helped the Arab world grow economically and culturally. It has found solutions to resolve conficts both within the league and externally.

The League's leader also expressed conviction that the step announced will help to promote the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, beginning with the right to have an independent state "with East Jerusalem as its capital."

The official media of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem also have recalled that it is since November 2012, following the vote in favor of Palestine to be "a non-member observer State status at the United Nations," that the Vatican uses the phrase "State of Palestine" in all its official documents, or in several communications on the country, such as in the official program of the Pope Francis’ visit in Holy Land in May 2014.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has traveled twice to the Vatican after the UN vote, and each time he was received and officially called "President of the State of Palestine".

With the same title, the president was received by Pope Francis in the Vatican on Saturday, May 16, before attending the canonization of the two Palestinian saints, Mariam Baouardy and Marie-Alphonsine Ghattas,  in St. Peter's Square the next day.


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