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Vatican official hopes historic Palestine agreement will be ‘stimulus’ for peace

Pope Francis greets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas following a canonisation ceremony in St Peter's Square earlier this year (PA)

The Vatican has signed a historic statement with the state of Palestine calling for a two-state solution in the Middle East.

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, said he hoped the agreement with Palestine would be a “stimulus” for a “definitive end” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The statement calls for a two-state solution “as soon as possible” based on Israel and Palestine’s 1967 borders.

It also refers to the “special status” of Palestine as a “birthplace of Christianity” and “cradle of monotheistic religions”.

Archbishop Gallagher said that he hoped the two-state solution would become a reality as soon as possible and added that he thought the Vatican accord was a “good example of dialogue and cooperation” which he hoped could be a model for other Muslim countries.