Details to come.
But here’s the headline from the Associated Press:
UPDATE: From The Washington Post:
News of the agreement triggered conflicting statements on its significance, with some accounts describing it as a groundbreaking step while others portrayed it as largely symbolic and nothing new. The accord wraps up work by the Bilateral Commission of the Holy See and the State of Palestine and “deals with essential aspects of the life and activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine,” according to a joint statement posted on the Vatican’s Web site. “Both Parties agreed that the work of the Commission on the text of the Agreement has been concluded, and that the agreement will be submitted to the respective authorities for approval ahead of setting a date in the near future for the signing,” the statement said. “Yes, it’s a recognition that the state exists,” said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Associated Press reported. However, Reuters news agency quoted Lombardi as saying that, while significant, the treaty was not the Vatican’s first recognition of Palestine. “We have recognized the State of Palestine ever since it was given recognition by the United Nations, and it is already listed as the State of Palestine in our official yearbook,” Lombardi said, according to Reuters. Although the Vatican had previously referred unofficially to the “state of Palestine” and had welcomed the U.N. General Assembly’s 2012 decision to recognize such a state, the treaty marked the first time that the Vatican has negotiated a legal document with the Palestinians that constitutes official diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state, AP said. Previously, the Vatican’s diplomatic recognition had been extended to the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Israeli Foreign Ministry condemned the move, saying it was “disappointed” by it.