06/10/2008, 00.00
VIETNAM
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Hanoi wants greater dialogue with the Vatican

Foreign minister refers to it after receiving the Holy See delegation, which arrived yesterday. Party newspaper fails to quote the minister on the matter as well as on the issue of respect for democratic rights and religious freedom.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem said that his government wants to “strengthen the dialogue” with the Vatican in order to enhance “mutual understanding” after meeting with the Vatican delegation led by Mgr Pietro Parolin, Vatican Undersecretary of State for Relations with States, state-owned Vietnam News reported. Communist Party paper Nhan Dan did not report that part of Mr Khiem’s statement.

Both papers did however note that Mr Khiem told the Vatican delegation about Vietnam’s achievements in promoting the economy, culture and foreign affairs as well as implementing the government’s religious policies over the past year.

Parolin in turn praised Viet Nam’s progress after it joined the WTO and became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Unlike the state-run paper the party paper did not report Khiem’s claim that the party and government of Vietnam continued to respect democratic rights and freedom of religion and belief in accordance with state laws.

The Holy See delegation (photo) arrived yesterday and will remain in the country until 15 June. 

Tomorrow it will travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, Da Lat City and the provinces of Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue.

It also plans to visit local parishes as well as the pottery village of Bing Duong.

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