Despite its recognition of a “State of Palestine,” the Vatican has requested it be removed from a UN General Assembly Draft resolution prepared by the Palestinians calling for the flags of “Palestine” and the Holy See to be flown at UN headquarters in New York.
The draft resolution, which was prepared without consultation with the Vatican, seeks to change UN policy to allow non-member observer states to fly their flag outside the UN, coinciding with Pope Francis’ visit to the US next month.
The Pope is scheduled to address the General Assembly on September 25 during his official visit.
“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 statement as quoted by Reuters.
“The Holy See asks the Permanent Observer Mission of the State of Palestine and 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.’”
The Palestinian proposal, seen as yet another unilateral step to statehood via the UN, has already been placed on the agenda of the annual General Assembly.
In May, the Vatican officially recognized the “State of Palestine” in an official bilateral treaty. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it was “disappointed” in the decision and the Vatican’s move would deter the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.