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Vatican hails UN vote, wants Jerusalem guarantees
Published Friday 30/11/2012 (updated) 01/12/2012 09:55
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Pope Benedict XVI waves from a balcony in St. Peter's Square in
the Vatican. (Reuters/File)

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) -- The Vatican hailed the United Nations' implicit recognition of a Palestinian state on Thursday and called for an internationally guaranteed special status for Jerusalem, something bound to irritate Israel.

The 193-nation UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's observer status at the United Nations from "entity" to "non-member state," the same status as the Vatican.

"The Holy See welcomes with favor the decision of the General Assembly by which Palestine has become a Non-member Observer State of the United Nations," a statement said.

But it also said it was a "propitious occasion" to recall a "common position" on Jerusalem expressed by the Vatican and the Palestine Liberation Organisation when the two sides signed a basic agreement on their bilateral relations in 2000.

Thursday's statement called for "an internationally guaranteed special statute" for Jerusalem, aimed at "safeguarding the freedom of religion and of conscience, the identity and sacred character of Jerusalem as a Holy City, (and) respect for, and freedom of, access to its holy places."

The Vatican's re-stating of its position on Jerusalem, which has remained mostly dormant for years, was bound to irk Israel, which says there is no need for an international status for Jerusalem because those guarantees already exist.

Israel declared Jerusalem its "united and eternal" capital in 1980 after annexing East Jerusalem in the Six Day War in 1967. World powers have not recognized the annexation.

Palestine says East Jerusalem is the capital of its future independent state.

Israel has always resisted the concept of any form of international mandate over Jerusalem.

It has been some time since the Vatican re-stated its position on the city so forcefully, and Thursday's statement was bound to be received negatively by Israel, a diplomat with direct knowledge of their relations said.

Israel has always maintained that it already guarantees the city's special nature as sacred to the three great monotheistic religions - Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Thursday's statement called on both sides to seek an "effective commitment to building peace and stability, in justice and in the respect for legitimate aspirations, both of the Israelis and of the Palestinians."

The Vatican and Israel established full diplomatic relations in 1994. Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict visited Israel and Palestinian territories.
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1 ) The Watcher / ME
30/11/2012 10:42
"Thursday's statement called for "an internationally guaranteed special statute" for Jerusalem, aimed at "safeguarding the freedom of religion and of conscience, the identity and sacred character of Jerusalem as a Holy City, (and) respect for, and freedom of, access to its holy places."

Rome always wanted to get their hands on Jerusalem. That has been part of their deal with the PA. Their deal with the Jews will involve the rebuilding of the temple. Solomon's baby won't be divided yet!


2 ) Democracies voted for Palestin / Greece
30/11/2012 11:50
Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominica, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Finland, France, Georgia, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, S Africa, Belgum,

3 ) Paul / USA
30/11/2012 13:09
An international universal city much like the Vatican itself with its own government and borders maintained by the UN and garrisoned and policed by the UN. Why not? Ths would eliminate all the trouble about is it Israel's capital or PA's. Give West J. to Israel, East J. to PA and Middle Jerusalem including Holy Mount and Old City to this special UN Government and protection so all faiths do not own it but have access to all holy sites. But what about the real owner of the Holy Mount - Messiah?

4 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
30/11/2012 18:50
With all due respect for the Vatican, "internationalizing" Jerusalem is about as probable as reversing the rotation of the earth. Separately, since the Vatican highly praises the U.N. Palestinian upgrade, it--as a sister, non-member observer "nation"--should focus on now uniting ALL Palestinian "nations" (the W. Bank and Gazan Palestinian "nations" and Jordan/Palestine) into 1 nation EAST of the Jordan River and start feeding it some MONEY for absorption. THAT would be highly useful.

5 ) Michael / greatprincemichael.com
30/11/2012 19:00
This move will be illegal because the property in question is not legally owned by the Vatican or the international community of nations.

6 ) ANTONY SAURO / ITALY
14/06/2013 11:56
IT appears to be solarly evident that ancient Palestine territory, under the
regime of Roman emperors from Julius Caesar to August Tiberius and so on,was inhabited by both Jewish people and Arab people without any possible revenge of souveregnity on the part of the same!
Why not to change, nowadays, the rule of Rome with the rule of the UNITED
NATIONS, as concerns the city of Jerusalem, such in a way to benefit from
a situation guanteeing Peace over the Holy City?
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