Vatican to recognize Palestinian state

Published May 13th, 2015 - 04:02 GMT
Pope Francis at the Western Wall in Jerusalem in May 2014. (AFP/File)
Pope Francis at the Western Wall in Jerusalem in May 2014. (AFP/File)

The Vatican announced Wednesday it will be recognizing Palestinian statehood in a new treaty, a significant symbol from a body deeply invested in the religious history of the Israeli-occupied holy sites, The New York Times reported.

After decades of conflict, formal recognition by the Vatican would grant the Palestinian Authority a new level of legitimacy with international communities, some of which hold close religious ties with Israel. 

The Vatican website said the agreement for the new treaty "has been concluded" and would be submitted for formal approval in the near future.

Catholic leader Pope Francis has been alluding to his support for a Palestinian state for some time, and the Vatican has been informally referring to the nation as "state of Palestine."

Israel has been wary of the international community's increasing support for Palestine, as it continues to face pressure from the US to step toward a two-state solution. In 2012 the UN upgraded Palestine's delegation status to a nonmember observer state.  

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