Vatican Summons Ambassadors on Annexation

(Reuters) -

The Vatican, in a highly unusual move, summoned both the U.S. and Israeli ambassadors to express concern about Israel’s moves to extend its sovereignty to Jewish communities in Yehudah and Shomron and the Jordan Valley.

A Vatican statement on Wednesday said meetings with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, and U.S. Ambassador Callista Gingrich and Israeli Ambassador Oren David, took place on Tuesday.

A senior diplomatic source told Reuters that Parolin met the two envoys separately, a detail which was not clear in the Vatican statement.

The Vatican statement reiterated its position in support of a two-state solution, saying “Israel and the State of Palestine have the right to exist and to live in peace and security, within internationally recognized borders.” The statement contradicted those of the U.S., Israel and some of their allies that the Palestinians are not a state.

The Vatican appealed to Israelis and Palestinians to do everything possible to re-open the process of direct negotiations on the basis of U.N. resolutions.