11/07/2008, 00.00
VATICAN - ISRAEL
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"Cordial" relations, but nothing concrete in Holy See-Israel dialogue

by Arieh Cohen
The implementation of the Fundamental Agreement and discussions over tax exemptions for the Church have been going on since March of 1999. The next meeting will be held on December 17.

Tel Aviv (AsiaNews) - A joint communiqué has been issued by the delegations of the Holy See and of the State of Israel, after their meeting on 6 November, within the framework of the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel.

In the communiqué, the Vatican diplomats and their Israeli counterparts agree that their meeting was "characterized by great cordiality and a spirit of cooperation," and reiterate their "joint commitment to accelerate progress towards agreement."

This particular round of negotiations between the Holy See and the Jewish State began on 11 March 1999, and has for its purpose the reconfirmation of the historic tax exemptions, which allow the Church to live and work in the Holy Land, as well as the restitution to the Church of certain ecclesiastical properties and rules for the protection of the remaining properties, especially the holy places.

The communiqué announces that the delegations will meet again, in ordinary session, on 17 December, and in plenary session the next day.

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