JOHOR BARU, Aug 16 — Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has been invited by Pope Francis to make a state visit to the Vatican City.
The invitation was conveyed to Sultan Ibrahim Ismail through the Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Salvador Marino, during a 90-minute audience at the Istana Pasir Pelangi here yesterday.
Marino also presented a special silver medallion from the pope to Sultan Ibrahim, who reciprocated by presenting the Catholic Church’s ambassador with a memento.
Marino was accompanied by Reverend Father Vjekoslav Holik from the Vatican’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur and local liaison officer Vincent D’ Silva who is from Johor.
Also present was Deputy Johor Mufti Datuk Yahya Ahmad.
Marino is the first resident Apostolic Nuncio, or diplomatic representative, to Malaysia, which established diplomatic relations with the Holy See in July 2011.
He has been based in Malaysia for the past five years following his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI.