Vatican City: The Vatican and Vietnam have concluded a new round of talks aimed at enhancing their relations, but there was no sign of any breakthrough toward establishing formal ties.
The Vatican spokesman said Wednesday that some "concrete progress" had been made with agreement that the pope's personal envoy to the communist country will be allowed greater freedom of movement to visit Catholics.
The two days of talks ended Tuesday in Hanoi with the next meeting to be held at the Vatican at a date yet to be set.
There are 6 million Roman Catholics in Vietnam, the second largest Catholic community in Southeast Asia after the Philippines. There have been tensions for decades between Catholics and the Hanoi government over church property seized by the Communists and other issues.
A communique issued by the Vatican on Wednesday said the Vietnamese delegation "encouraged" the Catholic church to participate in national development. It said the Holy See urged that "its role and mission be strengthened."
The Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said he considered the talks "positive," even without agreement for a resident envoy.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli in January 2011 as his special, nonresident envoy.
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Updated Date: Mar 01, 2012 00:24:42 IST