Vietnam News

Vietnam requests that US exclude it from religious freedom watch list

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Vietnam requests that the U.S. remove it from the Special Watch List for religious freedom and make objective assessments on the issue based on accurate and comprehensive information, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.

“Vietnam’s consistent policy is to respect and ensure the human rights and freedom of religion and belief for its people,” spokeswoman for the foreign ministry Pham Thu Hang said at a regular press briefing in Hanoi on Thursday. 

She emphasized that this policy is clearly prescribed in the country’s 2013 Constitution as well as its legal system, while its enforcement is ensured in reality.

Hang was speaking in response to reporters’ questions about Vietnam’s reaction to the U.S. decision to put the Southeast Asian country on the Special Watch List for religious freedom.  

Vietnam’s efforts and achievements in ensuring human rights, including the right to freedom of belief and religion, have been recognized by the international community over the past time. 

Therefore, Vietnam feels regret about the U.S. decision and “requests that the U.S. stop putting Vietnam on such a list and make objective appraisal on the freedom of religion and belief in Vietnam based on correct and comprehensive information,” Hang stated. 

Hanoi is ready to discuss with Washington all issues of mutual concern in the spirit of frankness, openness, and mutual respect, contributing to further strengthening the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership for peace, cooperation, and sustainable development between the two countries, the spokesperson said.

She also recalled that at the 75th anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights held in Geneve, Switzerland, on December 12, 2023, representatives of Vietnam and other countries affirmed their policies of promoting the implementation of the declaration through specific commitments.

By Vinh Tho & Duy Linh – Tuoi Tre News – January 12, 2024

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