Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung arrived in Hanoi on the morning of October 19, ending his tour to Belgium, the European Union, Germany and Italy where he attended the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit.
Before leaving for home, PM Nguyen Tan Dung
visited the Vatican and met with Pope Francis and His Eminence Cardinal
Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See.
Pope Francis regarded the Prime Minister’s visit as a prime opportunity for both sides to strengthen their mutual understanding, thus enhancing the sound relations between Vietnam and the Vatican.
He applauded Vietnam’s efforts in implementing policies on the freedom of belief and religion, and congratulated the country on its election to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
He spoke highly of the activities run by the Vietnam Catholic Church, such as annual conferences of the Vietnam Bishop Council and major Catholic celebrations, and expressed his gratitude to the Vietnamese Government for facilitating the Vatican non-resident envoy’s visit to the country.
Pope Francis confirmed that the Vatican is keen to further its fine relationship with Vietnam and support the Vietnamese Catholic Church’s active involvement in national socio-economic development.
He voiced his concerns over tensions in the East Sea and expressed his wish to contribute to the maintenance of peace, stability and security in the region and the world.
On his part, PM Nguyen Tan Dung stated that Vietnam always treasures its ties with the Vatican.
He reiterated his country’s resolve to implement its consistent policy of respecting people’s legitimate rights to belief and religious freedom, and to encourage Vietnamese Catholics to contribute to the national construction and development.
Both sides agreed to maintain dialogues and regular contacts with the aim of pushing their sound relations forward.
The Government leader’s visit to Belgium, Germany, Italy and the Vatican and his participation in ASEM 10 are expected to deepen and develop the friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between Vietnam and its partners in a practical and effective manner, thus contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and prosperity in the region and the world at large.
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