Vietnam and the Vatican need to continue holding regular meetings between their leaders and actively prepare necessary conditions towards establishing diplomatic relations, concurred Politburo member and Vietnam Fatherland Front President (VFF) Nguyen Thien Nhan and the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

At a meeting in the Italian city of Rome on July 1, the two sides hailed the progress in bilateral relations as illustrated by visits by Vietnamese Party and State senior officials to the Vatican and meetings with the Pope.

They quoted Pope Francis’s remarks that a Vietnamese Catholic must be a good citizen and patriot who sides with the nation to build a country of prosperity and happiness.

VFF President Nhan valued the Pope’s recent message on environmental protection and said he had discussed this issue with Chairman of the Episcopal Council of the Catholic Church of Vietnam Paul Bui Van Doc. He stated his intention to work with the council to select appropriate environmental activities to encourage Catholic followers to engage in, adding that environmental protection is also a key policy of the Vietnamese Party and State.

The VFF leader stressed that as an organisation representing and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of Vietnamese people from all social strata, the VFF appreciates the contributions of more than 6 million Catholic followers to national development.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin also lauded the recent positive advances in relations between Vietnam and the Vatican. He spoke highly of the VFF’s role in safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of the Vietnamese people, including Catholics.

The Secretary of State expressed the Vatican’s view that Governments and people around the world need to prevent conflicts and protect global peace.-VNA