Vatican envoy warns of worsening Israel ties


A senior Vatican diplomat said ties with Israel are worsening.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, a formal papal envoy to Israel, warned that Israel’s failure to keep promises related to church land, taxes and travel restrictions on Arab clergy was making relations worse then they were before the establishment of full diplomatic relations in 1993.

“If I must be frank, the relations between the Catholic Church and the state of Israel were better when there were no diplomatic ties,” Sambi said.

Sambi’s comments, which first appeared in an interview published on the Web site, were reported by the Associated Press.

Sambi also took a swipe at Israel’s reliability, saying, “Everyone can see what kind of trust you can give to Israel’s promises.”

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