04/22/2022, 16.18
VATICAN – VIETNAM
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A pontifical representative in Hanoi in the ‘near future’

The Holy See Press Office issued a statement following the meeting in Hanoi of the Holy See-Vietnam Joint Working Group, indicating an agreement on issues concerning Holy See representation in the Asia country. Currently, the apostolic nuncio in Singapore is the non-resident representative to Vietnam.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Holy See Press Office issued a press release saying that the Vatican and Vietnam have reached an agreement on issues concerning the possible opening of a permanent pontifical office in Hanoi in the “near future”.

The statement, by Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, follows a meeting by the Holy See-Vietnam Joint Working Group, yesterday and today, the first time the two parties were able to meet in since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two delegations, led respectively by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ha Kim Ngoc and Vatican Undersecretary for Relations with States Mgr Mirosław Wachowski referred to the “fruitful dialogue” of the past few years.

The two sides agreed again on the advisability of raising diplomatic relations from non-resident pontifical representation, currently held by the apostolic nuncio in Singapore, Mgr Marek Zalewski, to that of a resident pontifical representative. The issue has been on the table for years and, if accepted, it would allow the Vatican to open its own diplomatic mission in Hanoi.

The statement reads: “The two parties agreed that relations between Viet Nam and the Holy See should be maintained on mutually agreed-upon principles and fruitful dialogue, with the objective of consolidating reciprocal trust and strengthening relations in the common interest of the two parties and the Vietnamese Catholic community.”

On the issue of a permanent presence of a Vatican diplomat in Vietnam, the statement notes that the “two delegations agreed upon issues relevant to raising, in the near future, the level of relations between Viet Nam and the Holy See from a non-resident to a Resident Pontifical Representative and agreed on future steps to be undertaken to establish an office of the Resident Pontifical Representative in Hanoi.”

What is more, “The Holy See follows with interest the Catholic community's deep and vibrant life in the country and encourages the Catholic Church in Viet Nam to contribute to the country's common good and prosperity, as the Catholic community demonstrated concretely during the pandemic's most critical periods by volunteering in hospitals and assisting the needy.”

Lastly, the two sides agree that the Joint Working Group will hold their tenth meeting at the Vatican at a date to be determined.

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