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Deputy PM receives China, Gambia officials

Update: May, 14/2008 - 00:00

Deputy PM receives China, Gambia officials

(15-05-2008)

Ha Noi — Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem yesterday received China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs Director Ye Xiaowen who is visiting for the United Nations Day of Vesak 2008.

Ye praised Viet Nam’s hosting of the event, saying Buddhism in Viet Nam and China has a time-honoured history and large numbers of followers.

Both nations have attached importance to the freedom of belief and religion, and upheld the role and strength of religion in the current stage of national development, the Chinese official said.

The view was echoed by Deputy PM Khiem, who said Viet Nam always respected the freedom of beliefs and religion, as well as the moral values taught by religions, including Buddhism.

Deputy PM Khiem, who doubles as Minister of Foreign Affairs, reiterated the country’s resolve to wipe out efforts by hostile forces to make use of religion to undermine national solidarity and social security.

He suggested the Buddhist sanghas (community) of Viet Nam and China increase visits to promote bilateral ties.

Rice cultivation

Also yesterday, Deputy PM Khiem received in Ha Noi visiting Gambian Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Omar Alieu Touray, who said Gambia hoped Viet Nam would send agricultural experts to help the country develop rice cultivation to ensure food security for its people.

Touray, who began a four-day working visit to Viet Nam yesterday, praised Viet Nam’s socio-economic achievements and external policy of diversification and multilateralisation.

The official said the Gambian Government had applied Viet Nam’s economic renovation model in the belief it would lead to economic success.

While in Viet Nam, Touray, who is accompanied by Secretary of State for Trade, Industry and Employment Abdou Kolley, will hold working sessions with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to discuss future cooperation. — VNS

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