The Vatican formally recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty, finalized on Wednesday.
The treaty, which follows a decision in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly to recognize a Palestinian state, is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state.
Pope Francis is due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas this weekend, when two new saints from the Holy Land will be canonized.
The treaty, not yet signed, makes clear the Holy See has switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.
Kim Hjelmgaard writes for USA Today