Vatican accord with Palestine comes into effect

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Vatican Agrees to First Treaty with State of Palestine

An agreement signed last year making the Vatican's de facto recognition of Palestine in 2012 official has come into effect, the Holy See said on Saturday.

The Vatican signed its first treaty with the "State of Palestine" last June when it called for moves to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and backed a two-state solution.

"... the Holy See and the State of Palestine have notified each other that the procedural requirements for (the accord's) entry into force have been fulfilled, the Vatican said in a statement on Saturday.

The U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution in 2012 recognizing Palestine as an observer non-member state. This was welcomed at the time by the Vatican, which has the same observer non-member status at the United Nations.

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Vatican accord with Palestine comes into effect
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: Pope Francis attends the opening of the Holy Door at the papal Basilica of St Mary Major on January 1, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Basilica of St Mary Major is one of the oldest churches dedicated to the Mother of God. Pope Francis chose the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God to open the Holy Door. Since the Jubilee Year of 1500, Holy Doors have been opened at all four of the Major Basilicas in Rome. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: Pope Francis attends the opening of the Holy Door at the papal Basilica of St Mary Major on January 1, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Basilica of St Mary Major is one of the oldest churches dedicated to the Mother of God. Pope Francis chose the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God to open the Holy Door. Since the Jubilee Year of 1500, Holy Doors have been opened at all four of the Major Basilicas in Rome. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: Pope Francis attends the opening of the Holy Door at the papal Basilica of St Mary Major on January 1, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Basilica of St Mary Major is one of the oldest churches dedicated to the Mother of God. Pope Francis chose the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God to open the Holy Door. Since the Jubilee Year of 1500, Holy Doors have been opened at all four of the Major Basilicas in Rome. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: Pope Francis attends the opening of the Holy Door at the papal Basilica of St Mary Major on January 1, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. . The Basilica of St Mary Major is one of the oldest churches dedicated to the Mother of God. Pope Francis chose the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God to open the Holy Door. Since the Jubilee Year of 1500, Holy Doors have been opened at all four of the Major Basilicas in Rome. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: Pope Francis attends the opening of the Holy Door at the papal Basilica of St Mary Major on January 1, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. . The Basilica of St Mary Major is one of the oldest churches dedicated to the Mother of God. Pope Francis chose the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God to open the Holy Door. Since the Jubilee Year of 1500, Holy Doors have been opened at all four of the Major Basilicas in Rome. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: Pope Francis attends the opening of the Holy Door at the papal Basilica of St Mary Major on January 1, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Basilica of St Mary Major is one of the oldest churches dedicated to the Mother of God. Pope Francis chose the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God to open the Holy Door. Since the Jubilee Year of 1500, Holy Doors have been opened at all four of the Major Basilicas in Rome. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Pope Francis asperses incense as he celebrates a mass after opening the Holy door of the St. Mary Major's Basilica in Rome, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: Pope Francis attends the opening of the Holy Door at the papal Basilica of St Mary Major on January 1, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. . The Basilica of St Mary Major is one of the oldest churches dedicated to the Mother of God. Pope Francis chose the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God to open the Holy Door. Since the Jubilee Year of 1500, Holy Doors have been opened at all four of the Major Basilicas in Rome. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Pope Francis leads a mass at St Mary Major basilica where he opened a 'Holy Door' as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, on January 1, 2016 in Rome. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis leads a mass at St Mary Major basilica where he opened a 'Holy Door' as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, on January 1, 2016 in Rome. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis opens the Holy door of the St. Mary Major's Basilica as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, on January 1, 2016 in Rome. AFP PHOTO POOL / GREGORIO BORGIA / AFP / POOL / GREGORIO BORGIA (Photo credit should read GREGORIO BORGIA/AFP/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: Pope Francis attends a mass on the World Peace Day at the St. Peter's Basilica on January 1, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. During the new year's day dedicated to the Mother of God, the Pontiff open this afternoon the Holy Door of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: Pope Francis arrives at the St. Peter's Basilica for a mass on the World Peace Day on January 1, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. During the new year's day dedicated to the Mother of God, the Pontiff open this afternoon the Holy Door of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: German Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller arrives at the St. Peter's Basilica for a mass on the World Peace Day on January 1, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. During the new year's day dedicated to the Mother of God, the Pontiff open this afternoon the Holy Door of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Pope Francis celebrates a mass after opening the Holy door of the St. Mary Major's Basilica in Rome, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: Pope Francis kisses the Baby Jesus as he arrives at the St. Peter's Basilica for a mass on the World Peace Day on January 1, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. During the new year's day dedicated to the Mother of God, the Pontiff open this afternoon the Holy Door of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JANUARY 01: Pope Francis attends a mass on the World Peace Day at the St. Peter's Basilica on January 1, 2016 in Vatican City, Vatican. During the new year's day dedicated to the Mother of God, the Pontiff open this afternoon the Holy Door of the Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Pope Francis asperses incense as he celebrates a mass after opening the Holy door of the St. Mary Major's Basilica in Rome, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis leads a mass at St Mary Major basilica where he opened a 'Holy Door' as part of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, on January 1, 2016 in Rome. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / AFP / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis celebrates a mass after opening the Holy Door of the St. Mary Major's Basilica in Rome, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis delivers his blessing from his studio's window during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. Welcoming the new year Friday, Pope Francis called for an end to the ââarrogance of the powerfulââ relegating the weak to squalid outskirts of society and to the ââfalse neutralityââ to conflicts, hunger and persecution triggering a sometimes-deadly exodus of refugees. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis leaves at the end of a New Year mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis delivers his message as he celebrates a New Year mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis holds up the book of the Gospels as he celebrates a New Year mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis, background center, celebrates a New Year mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
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In October 2014, Sweden acknowledged Palestine, a decision that drew condemnation from Israel and led to tense relations between the two.

Israel has previously called the Vatican accord a hasty move that could damage prospects for advancing a peace agreement and impact its future diplomatic relations with the Vatican.

But the Holy See under Pope Francis is eager to have a greater diplomatic role in the Middle East, from where many Christians have fled because of conflicts in Syria, Iraq and other countries.

"The Agreement ... regards essential aspects of the life and activity of the Church in Palestine, while at the same time reaffirming the support for a negotiated and peaceful solution to the conflict in the region," the Vatican said.

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