Vatican’s top diplomat visits Vietnam, looks to normalise relations

The Vatican’s top diplomat began a six-day visit to Vietnam on Tuesday as part of efforts to normalise relations with the communist nation.

Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s foreign minister, met his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son and expressed the Vatican’s “gratitude” for the progress that has been made to improve ties. The visit occurred after Archbishop Marek Zalewski became the first Vatican representative to live and open an office in the Southeast Asian country.

“The visit is of great importance,” said Son.

Gallagher will also meet Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and visit a children’s hospital in the capital, Hanoi, state-run Vietnam News Agency reported. He will hold Mass in Hanoi, Hue in central Vietnam, and the financial hub of Ho Chi Minh City in the south.

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