PETALING JAYA: Foreign Minister Anifah Aman will lead a delegation on a three-day working visit to Vatican City tomorrow to officiate the opening of Malaysia’s first embassy there.
In a statement today, the ministry said he is also scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with his counterpart, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See’s secretary for relations with states, as well as with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state to the Pope.
It said both sides are keen to explore potential collaboration in various areas, including the effort to promote inter-religious dialogue and understanding.
The new embassy and the official visit mark an important milestone to elevate relations between Malaysia and the Holy See, it added.
“The dignitaries are also scheduled to discuss regional and global issues of common concern,” it said.
“Through these discussions, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will be able to relay Malaysia’s views and position on matters affecting the international community.”
Diplomatic ties between Malaysia and the Holy See were formally established on July 27, 2011, following a working visit by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“Ever since then, bilateral relations, which are based on mutual respect and understanding, have witnessed a positive trajectory,” the statement said.
Najib had held talks with Pope Benedict XVI during the visit, resulting in the establishment of official diplomatic ties between the two governments.
Anifah’s visit will also provide Malaysia with the opportunity to expound on the concept of moderation, under its Global Movement of Moderates (GMM), the statement said, adding that the initiative promotes tolerance, mutual understanding and respect through upholding moderation and rejecting extremism.