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Vatican set to scrap pope Holy Land trip says Israel

Preparatory mission already cancelled says foreign min spokesman

07 March, 11:11
Vatican set to scrap pope Holy Land trip says Israel (see previous).

(ANSA) - Tel Aviv, March 7 - The Vatican is set to scrap Pope Francis' May 24-26 visit to the Holy Land because of a labour dispute at the Israeli foreign ministry, ministry spokesman Ygal Palmor told ANSA Friday. The Vatican has already scrubbed a mission by a preparatory delegation, he pointed out.

Palmor said he was "pessimistic" about the pope's historic trip going ahead, noting that British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday rescheduled his planned March 12 visit to Israel.

The spokesman said that if the strike, which started March 4, goes on, "all visits will be cancelled".

"It is hard to prepare them in these conditions," he said.

"If the strike were to be revoked next week there would still be time but at the moment there is no signal in this direction," Palmor said.

"I am pessimistic. So far there have been no developments," he said.