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BREAKING: Vatican recognizes State of Palestine

The treaty, not yet signed, makes clear the Holy See has switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.

Pope Francis reviews the honor guard with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during an arrival ceremony at the presidential palace in Bethlehem, West Bank, on May 25, 2014. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

Note: This story will be updated as more details become available.

Pope Francis reviews the honor guard with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during an arrival ceremony at the presidential palace in Bethlehem, West Bank, on May 25, 2014. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

Pope Francis reviews the honor guard with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during an arrival ceremony at the presidential palace in Bethlehem, West Bank, on May 25, 2014. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service

The Vatican formally recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty, finalized on Wednesday.

The treaty, which follows a decision in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly to recognize a Palestinian state, is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state.

Pope Francis is due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this weekend, when two new saints from the Holy Land will be canonized.

The treaty, not yet signed, makes clear the Holy See has switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.

(Kim Hjelmgaard writes for USA Today)

 

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