Vatican and Israel Establish Full Diplomatic Ties (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: Ushering in a new era of Roman Catholic-Jewish relations and strengthening hopes for Middle East peace, Israel and the Vatican announced full diplomatic ties.
On June 15, 1994, Israel and the Vatican established full diplomatic ties. The day before, Israeli deputy foreign minister Yossi Beilin and Vatican envoy Monsignor Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo had signed an accord formalizing the relationship.
Six months earlier, on December 30, 1993, the two sides had officially recognized each other by adopting a fourteen-point Fundamental Agreement. Israel ratified the agreement on February 20, 1994, and the Vatican on March 7.
The agreement provided for the exchange of special representatives, to be raised to the status of full ambassadors. This exchange took place on January 19, 1994. On August 16, the Vatican’s first official diplomatic emissary to Israel, Monsignor Lanza di Montezemolo, presented his letter of credence to Israeli president Ezer Weizman. Israel’s first ambassador to the Holy See, Shmuel Hadas, presented his credentials on September 29 to Pope John Paul II. The event marked formal completion of the establishment of diplomatic ties.
Although questions of taxation remained to be decided by a special committee, the agreement did ensure the Roman Catholic Church the right to own property in Israel. It also affirmed the church’s...
(The entire section is 1001 words.)
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