Vatican raises Jerusalem status as it hails UN Palestine vote

Pope Benedict XVI. Credit: Tony Gentile / Reuters

The Vatican has hailed the United Nations' implicit recognition of a Palestinian state.

The 193-nation UN General Assembly vote resulted in an elevation of the Palestinian Authority to a "non-member state," the same status as the Vatican.

"The Holy See welcomes with favour the decision of the General Assembly by which Palestine has become a Non-member Observer State of the United Nations," a statement said.

The Vatican also called for an internationally guaranteed special status for Jerusalem, aimed at "safeguarding the freedom of religion and of conscience, the identity and sacred character of Jerusalem as a Holy City, (and) respect for, and freedom of, access to its holy places."