State President Triet meets Pope

State President Nguyen Minh Triet vowed to boost relations with the Vatican in the principle of respecting international law in the interest of world peace, cooperation and development.

He made the statement in a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican on December 11.
The State leader reaffirmed Vietnam’s external policy of independence, self-reliance, friendliness, and as a trusted partner and responsible member of the international community.

“In this spirit, Vietnam is ready to boost relations with the Vatican on the basis of respecting fundamental principles of international law, thus making an active contribution to peace, cooperation and development the world over,” said Triet.

President Nguyen Minh Triet is welcomed by Pope Benedict XVI in Vatican on December 11 (Photo: VNA)

The President pointed out that the Vietnamese State has now, and before, always respected and ensured citizens’ right to freedom of belief and considered religious followers an integral part of the national unity.

He said religions, including Catholicism, in Vietnam have enjoyed favourable conditions for development as provided by administrations at all levels, citing the recent success of the opening ceremony of the Jubilee Year 2010.

Triet expressed support for the Pope’s teaching that addresses Vietnamese bishops advising Catholics to be good followers and good citizens on the occasion of the Ad Limina in June 2009. He also emphasised the spirit of “Living the gospel amidst the nation” as highlighted in the Pastoral Letter 1980 of the Vietnamese Bishops Council.

The State leader recognised and lauded the Pope’s message sent to the Vietnam Catholic Church on the opening of the Jubilee Year 2010 in which the Vatican admitted mistakes committed in the past and pleaded for forgiveness.

He said he expected the teaching and the message should be enacted by the Vietnam Catholic Church with practical deeds and that Catholics should continue contributing to the national construction.

Triet emphasised that a majority of Catholics have been actively taking part in the national construction and defence and that many have courageously fallen for the nation during the struggle for independence.

“Their sacrifices have been recognised by the Fatherland,” said the State leader.

Pope Benedict XVI thanked the State of Vietnam for allowing and assisting the Vietnamese Catholic Church to successfully the opening ceremony of Jubilee Year 2010 in So Kien, Ha Nam province.

The Pope concurred with President Triet’s statement and asked Vietnam to continue creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese Catholic Church in making contributions to charitable, healthcare and educational activities.

The Pope expressed his wish to further promote Vietnam-Vatican ties in the future.

President Triet also met with Vatican Prime Minister Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who hailed the president’s meeting with the Pope.

President Triet expressed his wish that Cardinal Bertone continue to provide specific guidance for the Vietnamese Catholic Church to properly execute the Pope’s teachings and messages.

The State President expressed his belief that with both sides’ goodwill and determination, ties between Vietnam and the Vatican would continue to develop in accordance with their respective desires.

Later that day, President Triet made a tour of Milan city, meeting Chairman of Lombardia Roberto Formigoni and Milan Mayor Letizia Moratti.

President Triet spoke highly of the Lombardia region with Chairman Roberto Formigoni, stressing the importance of region in the relations between Vietnam and Italy. The President expressed his wish that Lombardia authorities and the Chairman encourage companies in the region to invest and do business in Vietnam.

Meeting with Milan city’s Mayor Letizia Moratti, President Triet affirmed that Vietnam and the Lombardia region, including Milan city, have huge potential of cooperation. Vietnam is willing to create favourable conditions for Milan to cooperate with Vietnam’s localities in investment, business, culture, and tourism, he said.

President Triet asked Milan authorities and the mayor to continue support the presence of Milan’s businesses in Vietnam.

He also asked for further consideration for academic exchange programmes between Vietnam and Milan.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

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