VATICAN CITY, FEB. 24, 2012 ( The director of the Vatican press office announced today that the next meeting for the Vietnam-Holy See Joint Working Group will be next week in Hanoi.

The Monday and Tuesday meeting will be the third meeting of the group. The time and location had been decided at the June 2010 meeting.

"Following a number of visits by the non-resident pontifical representative to Vietnam, the meeting will serve to strengthen and develop bilateral relations," Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi announced.

Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli was named the "non-resident pontifical representative" to Vietnam at the beginning of last year.

His status as a pontifical representative is recognized as a sign of improving relations between the Vatican and Vietnam, which is considered a nation that continues to violate religious liberty.