Vietnam to let Vatican appoint resident representative

The Vietnamese government will allow the Vatican to appoint a resident representative in the communist Southeast Asian country, following years of negotiations amid the fraught diplomatic relationship between the two states.

The development will likely be announced during the visit of President Vo Van Thuong to the Holy See by the end of July, Reuters reported on June 16, citing a senior Vatican official and a Hanoi-based diplomat with knowledge of the matter.

Thuong and his wife will pay an official visit to Austria, Italy and the Vatican on July 23-28, Vietnamese state media reported.

Relations between Hanoi and the Vatican dissolved when communist leaders took over Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

After the country’s reunification, they placed restrictions on the Catholic Church and jailed several Catholic leaders who opposed the new government.

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