Vatican seeks to develop ties with Vietnam

By Truong Son, Thanh Nien News

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Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (R) shakes hands with Under-Secretary for Relations with States Antoine Camilleri, head of the Vatican delegation in the 5th meeting of a joint Vietnam-Holy See working group, in Hanoi on September 10. Photo credit: V Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (R) shakes hands with Under-Secretary for Relations with States Antoine Camilleri, head of the Vatican delegation in the 5th meeting of a joint Vietnam-Holy See working group, in Hanoi on September 10. Photo credit: V
The Vatican reaffirmed that it attached great importance to the development of relations with Vietnam in particular and Asia in general, according to a statement released after the fifth meeting of a joint Vietnam-Holy See working group in Hanoi.
The meeting, held on September 10-11, was co-chaired by Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, head of the Vietnamese delegation, and Under-Secretary for Relations with States Antoine Camilleri, head of the Vatican delegation.
The Vatican thanked the Vietnamese authorities for helping Vietnam’s Catholic Church accomplish its mission, whilst recognizing the progress made in Vietnam’s religious policy, as evidenced in the 2013 revised Constitution.
Pope Francis’ visited South Korea this year and has scheduled 2015 visits to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
The Vatican repeated "its commitment towards the goal of establishing diplomatic relations with Vietnam", and said Hanoi for its part "reiterated the consistent policy... in respecting freedom of religion... and supporting the Catholic Church."
Both sides agreed to hold the sixth meeting of the joint Vietnam-Vatican working group in the Vatican, at a date to be set in the near future.
The Vatican delegation also paid courtesy visits to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, and Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and head of the Government’s Committee for Religious Affairs Pham Dung.
The delegation visited several Catholic churches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Vietnam severed ties with the Vatican in 1975, but the two sides have been working toward warming bilateral ties since 2007.

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