World Heritage Nod Sought For Nativity Church

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) - The Palestinian Authority has asked the U.N.'s cultural agency to designate the church built at the traditional birth site of Jesus as the first world heritage site in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinians say they asked UNESCO in January to place the Church of the Nativity on its list of the world's most important cultural sites.

No sites under Palestinian control are on the list because Palestinians do not have a state recognized by the U.N.

Palestinian officials say they hope the site's overwhelming cultural significance will sway member states to approve the request. A decision is expected in mid-2012.

Tourism Minister Khouloud Daibes said Monday that the request is part of the Palestinian campaign to build their state.