|President Trần Đại Quang meets with Pope Francis in Vatican. — VNA/VNS Photo|
ROME — Pope Francis has welcomed and spoken highly of President Trần Đại Quang’s visit to the Vatican, considering it an occasion for Vietnam and the Vatican to enhance mutual understanding, thereby fostering bilateral ties.
At a meeting with the Vietnamese leader on November 23 (Vatican time), the Pope recalled the fine impressions he had during his meetings with Việt Nam’s senior leaders in recent years. He also expressed his sentiment toward the Southeast Asian nation.
The Vatican highly valued the country’s socio-economic development achievements, along with its collection of public opinions before approving the Law of Belief and Religion, he said.
President Quang thanked the Pope’s sentiment towards Việt Nam and voiced his delight at the encouraging strides in bilateral relations.
Việt Nam consistently respects and ensures the right to freedom of religion or belief of all people, he affirmed, adding that it has also continually fine-tuned the legal framework for ensuring that right.
He and Pope Francis shared the view on positive progress in the Vietnamese-Vatican relations as seen through high-level meetings and maintained dialogues via the joint working group mechanism.
Appreciating active contributions by Việt Nam’s Catholic community over the past time, they underlined that the Catholic Church in Việt Nam should operate as in line with law and Catholics should lead a good secular and religious life and be good citizens.
They also agreed to maintain dialogues and meetings between the two sides.
The meeting took place in a sincere and straightforward manner with mutual respect.
On this occasion, President Quang also met with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to exchange views on the Catholicism situation in Việt Nam and the Vietnamese-Vatican relations.
President meets leaders of Italian parties
Việt Nam attaches importance to developing the strategic partnership with Italy, its important partner in the EU, President Trần Đại Quang has told leaders of several Italian parties.
The President separately met with leaders of the Democratic Party, the Communist Refoundation Party and the Communist Party of Italy on November 23 (local time) as part of his State visit to the country.
At these meetings, the Vietnamese leader informed his hosts about outcomes of his talks with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
He noted with pleasure the strong development of the bilateral relationship across fields since the two countries established their strategic partnership in January 2013.
President Quang also introduced socio-economic development orientations as well as foreign policy set by the 12th Congress of the Communist Party of Việt Nam (CPV), affirming that the Vietnamese Party treasures the traditional friendship with Italy’s left-wing parties.
He stressed the CPV’s stance on maintaining, consolidating and enhancing its relations with fraternal parties while expanding ties with major and ruling parties in foreign countries.
Reviewing the 18th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties in Hà Nội last October, the President noted the parties’ resolve to struggle for peace, independence, equality, democracy, civilisation and socialism.
The Vietnamese leader expressed his hope that the Italian left-wing parties and the CPV will increase meetings and experience sharing as well as support each other to achieve common objectives, contributing to deepening and materialising the bilateral strategic partnership.
In reply, the Italian hosts reassured the solidarity and friendship of their parties towards Việt Nam’s past struggle for national liberation as well as the present cause of national construction. — VNS