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Vietnam, Vatican discuss diplomatic ties   2009-02-18 - VNA

The Vietnam-Vatican Joint Working Group convened its first meeting in Hanoi on Feb. 16-17 to discuss the establishment of their diplomatic ties.

The meeting was co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister, Nguyen Quoc Cuong, and his Vatican counterpart, Monsignor Pietro Parolin.

During the meeting, Cuong reiterated Vietnam’s consistent policy of respecting the freedom of belief of its people and briefed Parolin on recent developments in the religious environment in Vietnam.

Cuong expressed his hope that the Vatican would actively contribute to the lives of Catholics and the solidarity between religions in Vietnam, thus helping to strengthen national unity in the country and encourage the Vietnam Catholic Church to integrate more closely into the nation and make practical contributions to its cause of national construction.

The Vatican dignitary noted of Vietnam’s implementation of its policies of freedom of belief and religion, acknowledging the recent positive progress in the country’s religious environment.

He expressed his wish that the existing issues concerning bilateral relations would be solved by goodwill and honest dialogues.

He affirmed the Vatican’s policy of respecting Vietnam’s independence and sovereignty, adding that the Catholic Church’s religious activities are never politically-minded.

The joint working group discussed issues relating to the two sides’ relationship, including those pertaining to the Vietnamese Catholic Church.

The two sides recognised the encouraging developments in the relationship between Vietnam and Vatican since 1990, and agreed that their first meeting represented a new and important step in this relationship. They both agreed to make greater efforts to enhance these ties.

During their visit to Hanoi, the Vatican delegation is scheduled to meet with the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, and visit the Thai Binh and Bui Chu parishes, as well as several other cultural, historical and religious establishments in Vietnam.



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