(Communicated by the Deputy Foreign Minister's Bureau)
The Israel-Vatican Working Commission convened today in Jerusalem (April 30), for the first time headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, with the aim of advancing the economic agreement between Israel and the Vatican. The meeting, with the participation of Monsignor Pietro Parolin, Undersecretary for Relations with States at the Secretariat of State at the Vatican, was held in a good atmosphere, and both sides agreed to continue to work together.
Significant progress was made in the talks, and it was decided that the two deputy ministers would meet again on December 10, 2009 at the Vatican. It was also agreed that the working groups would continue to advance the economic agreement.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon noted at the end of the meeting that "Progress in the economic sphere between Israel and the Vatican is very important, especially with the upcoming visit of Pope Benedict XVI in May."
The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the State of Israel and the Holy See has held a Plenary meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel today, Thursday, 30 April 2009, for the purpose of advancing the negotiations pursuant to Article 10 §2 of the Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel (30 Dec.1993).
The Delegation of the State of Israel was led by Mr. Daniel Ayalon, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and was composed, in addition, of the following Members:
1. Mr. Shmuel Ben-Shmuel, Head of World Jewish Affairs and Interreligious Affairs Department, MFA
2. Mr. Oded Brook, Head of the International Affairs Division of the Ministry of Finance
3. Mr. Bahij Mansour, Director of Inter-religious Affairs Department, MFA
4. Mr. Ronen Gil-Or, Adv., Director of General Law Department, MFA
5. Mr. Moshe Golan, State Attorney's Office
6. Ms. Yael Weiner, Ministry of Justice
7. Mr. David Segal, Head of Deputy Foreign Minister's Bureau
8. Ms. Idit Duvdevany, Legal Division, MFA
The Delegation of the Holy See was led by Monsignor Pietro Parolin, Undersecretary for Relations with States at the Secretariat of State, and was composed, in addition, of the following Members:
1. HE Archbishop Antonio Franco, Apostolic Nuncio in Israel, Chairman of the Commission at the "Working Level"
2. HE Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar
3. Msgr Krzysztof Nitkiewicz, Under-Secretary of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches
4. Msgr. Franco Coppola, Official of the Secretariat of State
5. Father David-Maria A. Jaeger, OFM, Legal Adviser
6. Fr. Jacek Dobromir Jasztal, OFM
7. Mr. Henry Amoroso, Legal Advisor
8. Father Giovanni Caputa, SDB, Secretary
The Plenary meeting of the Commission took place in an atmosphere of great friendship and a spirit of cooperation and good will. The Plenary noted that the Working Level Commission achieved significant progress, on the eve of the upcoming important visit of the Pope in Jerusalem.
It was agreed to hold the next Plenary meeting on 10 December 2009, at the Vatican. In the meantime, the working-level Commission will hold meetings in furtherance of both Delegations' pledge to accelerate the talks and conclude the Agreement at the earliest opportunity.