Vatican and Vietnam edge closer to restoring diplomatic ties

AFP/TN News

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Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met Pope Francis in Rome on Saturday (Oct 18) with both saying they were committed to restoring diplomatic relations.
Both sides have been on warming relations since 2007 after breaking off diplomatic ties in 1975. 
The meeting marked "an important step in the process of reinforcing relations between the Holy See and Vietnam", a Vatican statement said after the meeting. The Vatican said it welcomed the support of the Vietnamese authorities for the Catholic community, which makes up around seven per cent of the country's population of 89 million.
The Vatican had earlier hailed the "positive developments" from talks between the two sides held in Hanoi on September 10 and 11.
The papal nuncio in Singapore, Leopoldo Girelli, has been the Vatican's "non-resident pontifical representative" to Hanoi since 2011.
The Pope is keen for the Church to tap into Asia, a continent where the number of Catholics, currently just 3.2 percent of the population, is rocketing.

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