Israel: Progress made on Vatican tax impasse

High-level talks at the Vatican this week have brought considerable progress aimed at ending an impasse over the Holy See's tax obligations in Israel, an Israeli diplomat said Wednesday. Talks, which included the Vatican's secretary of state at one point and the Israeli foreign ministry's director general, were held Monday "in a very collaborative, constructive atmosphere," said Oded Ben Hur, Israel's ambassador to the Vatican. In a telephone interview, the ambassador expressed optimism about the possibility of a compromise.