06/16/2008, 00.00
VIETNAM – VATICAN
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Visit by Holy See delegation a success

According to official Vietnamese news agency, the date for the start of a joint group will be set as soon as possible; its task is to examine the “process of developing bilateral relations”.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – The visit by a Vatican delegation to Hanoi was a success. Together with the government it decided that as soon as possible the two will set a date for the start of a joint group to work on accelerating the “process of developing bilateral relations,” which includes the possibility of establishing normal diplomatic relations, this according to a report by Vietnam’s official news agency VNA. “The Vatican delegation had completed with success its visit to Vietnam,” the former said as it recapitulated the results of the Holy See mission which left for Rome yesterday.

The same source said that talks between the delegation headed by the Undersecretary for Relations with States Mgr Pietro Parolin and Vietnamese leaders, including Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiêm and Religious Affairs Committee Chairman Nguyên Thê Doanh, were held in an atmosphere that was “frank, open, constructive and based on mutual respect.”

During the talks the two sides “exchanged points of view on some issues concerning the Catholic Church in Vietnam and some issued of common concern.”

In addition to the joint group the two agreed that “a dialogue in a spirit of trust, mutual respect and respect for the laws is the best way to discuss and solve problems of common interest,” words that appear to hint at the demand by the Catholic Church and religious orders for the return of Church property seized by the authorities in the past.

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