Vietnamese Prime Minister meets Pope Benedict XVI
09:22 | 26/01/2007
VNGOVNet – The first meeting between the head of the Vietnamese Government and Pope Benedict XVI and Vatican Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone took place at 11 AM of the local time (or 5 PM Hanoi time) on January 25 at the Vatican Holy See as an event reflecting the two sides’ goodwill and wish to deepen mutual understanding.


PM Nguyễn Tấn Dũng and the Vietnamese Government’s senior delegation and Pope Benedict XVI - Photo: VNGOVNet

In the meeting, PM Nguyễn Tấn Dũng said that the Communist Party and Government of Vietnam always respect the democratic rights and religious freedom of the Vietnamese people as clearly stipulated in Vietnam’s laws and create any favorable condition for them to improve their religious life, seeing it a contributing factor to the national unity. The PM said that, in Vietnam, the Roman Catholics prove to be a dynamic, devout and patriotic community which have rendered good services to national construction and development.

The Vietnamese Government always appreciates the relationship with the Vatican, the PM said, highlighting the fact that the two sides annually meet to exchange opinions on the Vietnam Roman Catholic Congregation and other issues of common concern that have brought about good outcome and helped the two sides understand each other better.

He said that the Vietnamese Government expects further conservations with the Vatican on the agreed principles of mutual respect and not intervening in each other's internal affairs, wishing that the Vatican would encourage the Vietnamese Catholics to stay attached to the nation as a foundation for further relationship between Vietnam and the Vatican.

The Pope and Vatican Secretary of State showed their gratitude to the Vietnamese Government and described Vietnam's religious policy and realities as a model of religious freedom. The Vatican Secretary of State suggested the idea of full diplomatic ties between the Vatican and Vietnam that PM Nguyễn Tấn Dũng took note of and proposed that the two sides’ diplomatic agencies work on details.

The Vietnamese PM said he was convinced that backed by such a goodwill and determination of the two sides, the Vietnam-Vatican relationship will grow to match the two sides’ desire.

By Nguyên Hồ

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