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Friday, December 10, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 10 DEC 2010 (VIS) - Made public today was an English-language communique concerning the plenary meeting of the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel, which was held at the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs on 9 December.

  "The meeting of the plenary commission took place in a good and open atmosphere", the communique reads. "The delegation of the Holy See was headed by Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, under secretary for Relations with States, and the delegation of the State of Israel was headed by Danny Ayalon, MK, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs.

  "At the start of the meeting, reference was made to the telegram sent by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. to Benyamin Netanyahu, prime minister of the State of Israel, conveying Pope Benedict XVI's assurances of his prayers and his solidarity with the families of those who lost their lives, to the wounded and to all who were affected by the recent forest fire in northern Israel, as well as 'his appreciation for the rescue efforts which were carried out with such selfless dedication', and his prayers 'that those who have lost their homes in this tragedy may soon be able to rebuild their lives'.

  "The Plenary discussed the next steps towards conclusion of the Agreement.

  "The Plenary will hold its next meeting on 16 June 2011 at the Vatican. The next 'Working Level' meeting will take place on 3 February 2011.
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