Vatican to recognise the State of Palestine
The Vatican is to formally recognise Palestinian statehood in a treaty that will be signed shortly, officials say.
Israel has expressed its disappointment at the decision which it says will not advance the peace process. Talks between the Palestinians and the Vatican – which favours a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – have gone on for 20 years. President Abbas meets the Pope this weekend when two 19th Century Palestinian nuns will be canonised. The Vatican is eager that property and civil rights of the Catholic Church in the Palestinian state is protected, correspondents say.