At a meeting with the Vietnamese leader on November 23 evening (Vatican time), the Pope recalled the fine impressions he had during his meetings with Vietnam’s senior leaders in recent years. He also expressed his sentiment toward the Southeast Asian nation.

The Vatican highly values the country’s socio-economic development achievements, along with its collection of public opinions before approving the Law of Belief and Religion, he said.

President Quang thanked the Pope’s sentiment towards Vietnam and voiced his delight at the encouraging strides in bilateral relations.

Vietnam consistently respects and ensures the right to freedom of religion or belief of all people, he affirmed, adding that it has also continually fine-tuned the legal framework for ensuring that right.

He and Pope Francis shared the view on positive progress in the Vietnamese-Vatican relations as seen through high-level meetings and maintained dialogues via the joint working group mechanism.

Appreciating active contributions by Vietnam’s Catholic community over the past time, they underlined that the Catholic Church in Vietnam should operate as in line with law and Catholics should lead a good secular and religious life and be good citizens.

They also agreed to maintain dialogues and meetings between the two sides.

The meeting took place in a sincere and straightforward manner with mutual respect.

On this occasion, President Quang also met with Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin to exchange views on the Catholicism situation in Vietnam and the Vietnamese-Vatican relations.

Vietnam News Agency - November 24, 2016

Pope meets Vietnamese president in private audience

Pope Francis met with the President of Vietnam, Tran Dai Quang, in a private audience on Wednesday.

A statement from the Holy See Press Office said, "During the cordial meeting, the good relations between the Holy See and Vietnam were recalled, which are sustained by a common spirit of dialogue and the constant search for the correct instruments so that they may progress." The statement said the collaboration between the Church and the Vietnamese State was also highlighted.

President Tran Dai Quang presented Pope Francis with a small drum with a bronze base, while the Holy Father gave him a medal of his pontificate and copies of Evangelii gaudium, Amoris laetitia, and Laudato si'.

Afterwards, President Tran Dai Quang met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher.

Vatican Radio - November 23, 2016