|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung receives Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday said the Vietnamese Government always respected and ensured citizens' right to freedom of belief and religion, during a reception for Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
The leader expressed his belief that the Vatican Cardinal's visit to Viet Nam would help him understand more about the country, people, religious policies and life of Catholic followers in the country.
He took the occasion to congratulate Ha Noi's newly appointed Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon.
PM Dung spoke highly of the Vietnamese Catholic community's contributions to national development.
He said that relations between Viet Nam and the Vatican had remained strong despite ups and downs during their long-lasting bilateral ties. Both sides had maintained annual talks and regular contact. More recent high-level contact has helped move the relationship forwards.
Dung asked the two sides to continue frank dialogue on the basis of sincerity, mutual understanding and trust to benefit the community of seven million Catholic followers in Viet Nam.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni congratulated Viet Nam on its achievements, saying the talks would help to develop the relationship.
Citing the recent event earlier this month in which Archbishop of Ha Noi Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon was named by Pope Francis among the new cardinals, Filoni said it reflected the Vatican's respect and appreciation for Viet Nam and its people.
He also said that recent meetings between Vietnamese leaders and the Pope would spur better co-operation between the two sides.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (R) receives Myanmar's Minister of Information Ye Htut in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam
On the same day, Prime Minister Dung received Myanmar's Minister of Information Ye Htut in Ha Noi.
At the meeting, Dung said that he hoped Viet Nam and Myanmar would continue to promote co-operation in politics and diplomacy, contributing to building an ASEAN Community in 2015.
He also called for increased co-operation to ensure regional peace and security and deepen bilateral ties. He asked the government of Myanmar to allow Vietnamese businesses to expand their telecommunications services, and for Vietnamese banks to open offices in Myanmar.
Dung also urged for greater efforts to boost the implementation of co-operative agreements in 13 areas reached between the two countries. — VNS