The Vietnam–Vatican Joint Working Group convened its fourth round of meetings at the Vatican from June 13-14, as part of its agreement reached at the previous round of meetings in Hanoi in February, 2012.

Vatican Under-Secretary for Relations with States Antoine Camilleri and Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son co-chaired the round of meetings.

The two sides informed each other about their respective situation, and reviewed and discussed Vietnam – Holy See relations and other issues related to the Vietnam Catholic Church.

The Vietnamese side stressed that the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the State of Vietnam pursue the perfection of policies that respect and ensure religious freedom for all people, as well as encouraging all religions in general and the Vietnam Catholic Church in particular to actively engage in socio-economic development and national construction.

The Vatican side highly valued the relevant Vietnamese agencies for facilitating the Vietnam Catholic Church’s activities over the past time, especially the 10th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences in Xuan Loc and Ho Chi Minh City in December, 2012, as well as the pastoral visits made by Vatican non-resident Special Envoy to Vietnam, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli.

The Holy See stressed the desire to develop Vietnam–Vatican ties and the need to appoint a Vatican Special Envoy to Vietnam for the two sides’ benefits.

The two sides shared their view that Vietnam–Vatican ties have developed positively in the spirit of goodwill and constructive dialogue and respecting principles in their relations. The Vatican non-resident Special Envoy to Vietnam will continue receiving favourable conditions to fulfil assigned tasks.

Both sides agreed to conduct the fifth round of meetings in Hanoi with the specific time to be arranged through diplomatic channels.

During the visit, the Vietnamese delegation paid a courtesy call to Vatican Secretary for Relations with States Dominique Mamberti./.