The Vatican today announced that the negotiations toward that end are being conducted by a "joint commission." The Vatican press office provided no details about the composition of that body.
The Palestinian Authority maintains a "Bureau of Representation" in Rome, directed by Affix. This bureau-- which functions as the equivalent of an embassy, without holding that title-- was set up in 1994, after the Holy See established formal diplomatic relations with the government of Israel.
In a similar process, the search for a formal juridical recognition of the Catholic Church in the Palestinian lands follows the establishment of a formal pact with Israel, announced in November 1997, to guarantee the status of Catholic entities in that country.
In both cases-- in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority as well as with Israel-- the Holy See has found a point of contention regarding the status of the city of Jerusalem. Both governments view the holy city as their capital; the Vatican has pressed consistently for the establishment of an international administration to guarantee free access to Jerusalem for all parties.