Vatican distances itself from Palestinian UN flag resolution

Reuters report claims Vatican asked Palestine not to reference it in draft resolution calling on UN to fly flags of non-member observer states

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Pope Francis (R) talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a private audience at the Vatican City, May 16, 2015.

The Vatican has asked Palestine to withdraw all references to it from a draft resolution that requires the UN General Assembly to fly the flags of Palestine and the Holy See, according to a Reuters report released on Wednesday.

The proposed Palestinian resolution asks the United Nations to raise non-member observer states’ flags outside UN Headquarters and offices alongside those of member states.

Although it formally recognises the State of Palestine, the Vatican said it has no plans to join the resolution while not directly objecting to the proposal.

"The Holy See does not intend to co-sponsor a draft resolution that the State of Palestine may eventually present on the matter," the Vatican said in a written statement.

"The Holy See asks the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations kindly to remove in its draft resolution any reference to the 'Holy See' and any generic reference 'on behalf of the Observer States'."

On May 15, the Vatican signed a historic treaty with Palestine two years after recognising it as a state, drawing swift criticism from Israel.

Around 135 countries have recognised the state of Palestine, including several that are now EU member states.

On the other hand, the US and Israel have refused to recognise the state of Palestine, saying doing so would undermines efforts to negotiate a peace between the state and Israel.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in April last year when the West Bank and Gaza’s opposing authorities, Hamas and Fatah, declared a unity government in response to continued illegal settlement building by Israel in the occupied territories.

A bloody onslaught on Gaza erupted just a few months later, resulting in the deaths of around 2,200 Palestinians, at least 66 percent of whom were civilians. Seventy two Israelis were also killed, mainly soldiers.

TRTWorld and agencies