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Vietnam, Vatican resume talks on resuming diplomatic ties

Catholic World News - June 21, 2010

Vietnamese government officials are in Rome this week for meetings with Vatican officials. The object of the meeting, the Vatican announced, is “to strengthen and develop bilateral relations.” The meeting is the second of its kind, after sessions held in Hanoi in February 2009.

The Holy See and the government of Vietnam are working to restore diplomatic ties, which were broken with the advent of the Communist regime in the Asian country. Relations between the local Church and the Vietnamese government have been complicated by a series of disputes over the control of properties that were confiscated by the government. Nevertheless, a series of informal negotiations have yielded some concessions from Hanoi, allowing for the Vatican to appoint several new bishops in recent months, after long delays caused by the government’s refusal to approve previous Vatican appointments.

The Vietnamese delegation to this week’s meetings is led by the country’s deputy foreign minister, Nguyen Thanh Son. The participation of such a ranking official indicates that the Hanoi government is hoping for significant progress in the negotiations.

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