OBSTACLES in the way of formal Vatican relations with Israel will take years to iron out but the problems between the two states will be resolved, a top official of the Holy See's Secretariat of State said this week.
Archbishop Jean-Louis Taunin, the Vatican's secretary for relations with other states, said in New York that the new commission set up in July by Israel and the Vatican to explore the possibility of future diplomatic ties would meet for the second time this month.
The archbishop said that longstanding Vatican objections to Israel's treatment of the Palestinian question still remained, despite the new optimism that relations can be established between the two states. "The Vatican will not back down from the principles it has always defended," he said.
The status of Jerusalem, the eastern part of which was annexed by Israel following the 1967 Six Day War, still posed great problems for future relations, Archbishop Tauran stressed.
"There will he no peace in the region if the situation of Jerusalem is not resolved in such a way that no one will ever again be tempted Co take up arms to conquer it." he said.