The Israeli and Vatican delegations met today in Jerusalem to try to advance negotiations on an economic agreement.

 Meeting of Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the State of Israel and the Holy See  

 

DFM Ayalon, sitting opposite Vatican Under-secretary Balestrero, and the negotiating teams (photo: MFA)

Joint Communiqué

The meeting of the Plenary Commission has taken place in a good and open atmosphere. The Delegation of the State of Israel was headed by Mr. Danny AYALON, MK, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Delegation of the Holy See was headed by Monsignor Ettore BALESTRERO, Under-Secretary for Relations with States.

At the start of the meeting, reference was made to the telegram sent by His Eminence Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, the Secretary of State of His Holiness, to H.E. Benyamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, conveying Pope Benedict XVI’s assurances of his prayers and his solidarity with the families of those who lost their lives, to the wounded and to all who were affected by the recent forest fire in northern Israel, as well as "his appreciation for the rescue efforts which were carried out with such selfless dedication," and his prayers "that those who have lost their homes in this tragedy may soon be able to rebuild their lives." 

The Plenary discussed the next steps towards conclusion of the Agreement.

The Plenary will hold its next meeting on 16 June 2011 at the Vatican. The next "Working Level" meeting will take place on 3 February 2011.