The Vatican and Vietnam have agreed “to continue to strengthen fruitful dialogue and mutual trust” following a meeting of a “joint working group” in Hanoi last week.
A press statement released by the Holy See Press Office said representatives of Vietnam and the Vatican engaged in “in-depth discussions” on the relations between the states.
Issues concerning the Catholic Church in Vietnam were also part of the discussions.
The statement said relations between Vietnam and the Holy See have recently developed and “a frequent and cordial exchange of ideas has always occurred” even during the pandemic.
The joint session was co-chaired by Monsignor Miroslaw Wachowski, undersecretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States, and Ha Kim Ngoc, Vietnam’s vice minister of Foreign Affairs and head of the Vietnamese delegation.
“The two parties agreed that relations between Vietnam 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,” read the press statement.
It said the meeting took place in “a cordial and mutually respectful atmosphere” and the delegations agreed upon issues “relevant to raising, in the near future, the level of relations between Vietnam and the Holy See from a non-resident to a Resident Pontifical Representative.”
Both parties also agreed on “future steps to be undertaken to establish an office of the Resident Pontifical Representative in Hanoi.”
The Vatican press statement said “the Holy See follows with interest the Catholic community’s deep and vibrant life in the country and encourages the Catholic Church in Vietnam 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.”