Vatican, Israel working on economic pact


ROME (JTA) — The Vatican and Israel are working toward finalizing their bilateral relations with an economic agreement.

According to a statement over the weekend by the Israeli Embassy to the Holy See, the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel met last week to continue talks on the issue.

The statement said the talks "took place in an atmosphere of cordiality, and the delegations believe that they have contributed to taking the talks forward towards the desired agreement."

The Vatican and Israel signed an agreement establishing diplomatic relations in 1993 but several financial issues, including tax exemptions and property rights for the Church, have remained unresolved despite years of fitful negotiations.

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