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Vatican to raise its flag at United Nations for Pope’s visit

The Vatican flag will be raised for the first time at the United Nations on Friday morning ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the world body

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The Vatican flag will be raised for the first time at the United Nations on Friday morning ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the world body, the Holy See mission to the United Nations said on Monday.

Pope Francis is due to address the United Nations in New York on Friday during his first visit to the United States.

The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a Palestinian resolution earlier this month which says the flags of non-member states “shall be raised at (U.N.) Headquarters (in New York) and United Nations Offices following the flags of the member states.”

The Vatican and Palestine are the only non-member observer states at the United Nations.

Palestinian diplomats will raise their flag during a special ceremony on Sept. 30, the day Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses world leaders at the annual gathering of the U.N. General Assembly.

Unlike the Palestinians, the Holy See mission to the United Nations said its flag will be raised with no ceremony at the same time all other member states flags are raised on Friday.

The Vatican reacted coolly when the Palestinians first circulated their draft resolution last month.

The Palestinians initially presented their initiative as a joint effort with the Holy See, but the Vatican said it would not co-sponsor the resolution and requested that its name be removed from the text.

The United States and Israel were among eight countries that voted against the Palestinian-drafted resolution. There were 119 votes in favor out of 193 U.N. members.