Palestine Ambassador to the Holy See Issa Kassissieh met on Monday, December 7, met with Antoine Camilleri, head of the Holy See delegation to the Holy See-Palestinian talks, and apprised him of the latest regional developments as well as the prevailing political impasse caused by the Israeli escalatory policies. He also discussed the need to consolidate cooperation with the Supreme Commission for the Affairs of Churches in order to enhance the Church and Christian presence in the Holy Land.

Both sides underlined the importance of implementing the terms of the agreement signed by the foreign ministers of both sides on June 6, 2015 according to which the Vatican State recognized the State of Palestine.

The Palestinian ambassador had earlier met with Jean-Louis Tauran, the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in the Roman Curia, in the presence of Monsignor Khaled Akasheh, head of the Office for Relations with Islam at the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue. The discussion dealt with the Palestinian president’s initiative to hold dialogue with Al-Azhar. It also touched on the importance of joint efforts by the Vatican and Islamic religious authorities to combat bigotry and religious extremism, as well as to encourage dialogue with Islamic religious authorities based on mutual respect and joint action to entrench the Arab Christian presence in the Arab Orient.

On the other hand, Ambassador Kassissieh also met with Cardinal Leonardo Sandra, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Roman Curia, and briefed him on the situation of the Church in Jerusalem and the challenges faced by the local Church. For his part, Cardinal Sandri valued the agreement signed between the two states and hoped that this agreement would be a model to be emulated with the Arab and Islamic worlds.