The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel met Wednesday to advance negotiations on the “Economic Agreement.”

The Israeli Embassy to the Holy See reported in a press statement that 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.”

Since signing the Fundamental Agreement in 1993, which established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel, the two sides have been negotiating the particulars of tax exemptions and property rights for the Church, in particular for the holy sites. Talks stopped altogether in 2003 for several years, and began again in 2005.
The next meeting of the working commission will take place Sept. 15-16 in Jerusalem.

In July the commission reported that a plenary session will meet Dec. 10 in the Vatican.