JOHOR BAHRU: The Sultan of Johor has been invited by Pope Francis to make a state visit to Vatican City. The invite was conveyed to Sultan Ibrahim Ismail through the Pope’s diplomatic representative to Malaysia, Archbishop Joseph Salvador Marino, after he was granted an audience with the Johor ruler on Wednesday (Aug 15) at the Istana Pasir Pelangi. Archbishop Marino spent nearly 90 minutes with Sultan Ibrahim. During the meeting, a special silver medallion from the Pope was presented to the Johor ruler, who reciprocrated with a memento to the Archbishop. The archbishop was accompanied by Reverend Father Vjekoslav Holik from the Vatican Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on the visit, while Deputy Johor Mufti Yahya Ahmad was also present. Archbishop Marino arrived in Malaysia five years ago following his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI. He is the first resident Apostolic Nuncio, or diplomatic representative, to Malaysia, which established diplomatic relations with the Holy See in July 2011.