|National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung (second, right) meets Pope Francis in the Vatican on Saturday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sang
VATICAN (VNS) — Viet Nam highly valued the development of its ties with the Vatican, National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung stated during a meeting with Pope Francis I in the Holy City on Saturday.
Hung made it clear that the Vietnamese Party and State were steadfast in their diplomatic policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, co-operation and the diversification and multilateralisation of external relations. He said the country considered creeds and religions as a spiritual need of the people that contributed to national unity.
He updated his host of the growing relationship between Viet Nam and the Catholic Church which, he said, was evidenced by annual meetings between Vietnamese leaders,the Pontiff and other Church dignitaries. He also highlighted the positive outcomes of the Viet Nam – Vatican Joint Working Group's annual meetings and the appointment of a Vatican non-permanent envoy to Viet Nam.
Hung expressed his wish for the Pope to further direct the Viet Nam Catholic Church to continue operating under the motto "Living Gospel in the Midst of the Nation" and contribute more to the country.
At a meeting with Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin the same day, Hung hailed the latter's role in developing Viet Nam - Vatican ties.
He said Viet Nam would continue to be a friend, a trustworthy partner and a responsible member of the international community.
Viet Nam treasured and stood ready to boost ties with the Holy See on the principle of respect for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity without interfering in each other's internal affairs, Hung added.
At an earlier reception for General Secretary of the Party of Italian Communists Cesare Procaccini, the Vietnamese leader thanked the Italian communists for their support for Viet Nam during its struggle for liberation and construction.
Procaccini said the Party of Italian Communists hoped to consolidate friendship and co-operation with the Communist Party of Viet Nam, pledging to do his utmost to tighten ties between the two parties, countries and peoples.
The General Secretary voiced his wish to learn about Viet Nam's experience in developing a socialist-oriented market economy.
Later the same day, Hung and his entourage left Rome for Ha Noi, concluding their visit to Italy. — VNS