Despite its recognition of a “State of Palestine,” the Vatican has requested it be removed from a Palestinian-prepared United Nations General Assembly draft resolution that calls for the flags of “Palestine” and the Holy See to be flown at U.N. headquarters in New York City.
The draft resolution, which was prepared without consultation with the Vatican, seeks to change U.N. policy to allow non-member observer states (which is the Palestinians’ U.N. status) to fly their flags outside the U.N., coinciding with Pope Francis’s visit to the U.S. next month.
The pope is scheduled to address the General Assembly on Sept. 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, Reuters reported.
“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,’” added the statement.
The Palestinian proposal, seen as yet another unilateral step to obtaining statehood recognition via the U.N., 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 that the Vatican’s move would deter the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.