VFF Vice President Le Ba Trinh (R) and US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Tom Malinowski (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Freedom of religion and the building of a law on belief and religion in Vietnam were discussed during a meeting between Vice President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Le Ba Trinh and visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Tom Malinowski in Hanoi on May 10.

The meeting in an open spirit would make contribution to the success of President Obama’s visit to Vietnam, the VFF Vice President said.

Regarding the building of the law on belief and religion, Trinh said that the VFF, which represents and protects the lawful and legitimate rights and interests of Vietnamese people, has implemented a line-up of measures to monitor and review the law by conducting polls of the public and religious dignitaries and followers to ensure the freedom to religion and belief as stipulated in the 2013 Constitution.

He noted that the draft law has been revised for the fifth time towards increasing the autonomy of religious organisations and their initiative in religious activities in line with the 2013 Constitution.

Meanwhile, Tom Malinowski said that President Obama’s visit to Vietnam provides an opportunity for the two countries to further promote bilateral relations following recent specific moves such as the US’s support of Vietnam signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal and collaboration in economics and security.

He spoke highly of Vietnam’s economic and regulation reforms in line with international standards through making amendments to laws, including the law on belief and religion.

Vietnam and the US are similar in the diversity of beliefs and religions, Malinowski said, hoping that the law on belief and religion, when adopted by the Vietnam National Assembly, will facilitate the operation of religious organisations in Vietnam in a more flexible manner in accordance with the law.-VNA