Vatican appoints envoy to Vietnam

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Pope Benedict XVI has named the first non-resident representative of the Vatican to Vietnam, the government said.

The move came after a series of reciprocal visits between the two nations.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and President Nguyen Minh Triet visited the Vatican in 2007 and 2009 respectively, according to a report posted on the government website, on Friday.

Last June, both sides organized a second meeting of the Vietnam-Vatican Joint Working Group to boost bilateral ties, the report said.

The nomination of 58-year-old Italian Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli was regarded by the international media as a pivotal step in the development of bilateral relations between Vietnam and the Vatican.

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