US Commission on International Religious Freedom Visits Vietnam

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on October 23 told a delegation of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom that Viet Nam is willing to talk with the US on differences on religion.

PM Dung welcomed the US religion watchdog delegation and reiterated Viet Nam ’s position of respecting the public rights to religion and non-religion.

He said he was pleased to see steps forwards in cooperative and friendly ties between the two countries.

“The Vietnamese Government always pursues a policy of looking towards to the future in the interest of the two nations. The Government and people of Viet Nam always want and will do their best to further promote bilateral relations in all fields,” said the Government leader.

He however admitted that there are differences in cultures, lifestyles, religious freedom and legal systems between Viet Nam and the US .

He explained that it is because each nation has its own history and cultural traditions.

“The Vietnamese Government is always willing to listen to and enter into negotiations with the US on the differences,” said PM Dung.

He continued by saying that as a UN member, Viet Nam understood the UN declaration on human rights. However, the issue should be based on the State Constitution and law that reflect the people’s aspirations.

Any Vietnamese citizen who violates law of the Vietnamese State will have to be treated in line with law, regardless of religious or ethnic identities, he emphasized.

The Government leader pledged to provide best available conditions for the US religion watchdog delegation during their working visit in Viet Nam .

He however said the delegation should conduct their study and set up a concept regarding religion in Viet Nam in an objective way, reflect the truth and avoid imposing its lopsided viewpoints about religious freedom in Viet Nam .

“The delegation should also study the situation of Vietnamese people who suffer from Agent Orange dioxin contamination.

For his part, Michael Lawis Cromartie - the delegation head - expressed thanks to the Prime Minister for his time to meet the delegation as well as to the Vietnamese Government for providing them with what they need to study religion in the country.

Some delegates highly valued fine relations between the two countries, saying the two parties should boost cooperation and dialogues on issues of difference.