AUSTRALIA is seeking to narrow 'differences' with Vietnam on political and human rights issues, according to the head of a visiting parliamentary delegation. Speaking cautiously, Senator Stephen Loosley insisted he was not leading an 'investigation' but was seeking information on Vietnam's political, social and justice systems. Prison visits and three days of talks with church leaders, administrators and the traditionally secretive Interior and Justice Ministry heads had smoothed the way for future contact, although there were several points 'still to be clarified'. The delegates have travelled to central Vietnam, reportedly the scene of unrest involving leaders of a banned Buddhist church. Their full itinerary has not been released. 'There are differences in emphasis and there are differences in priorities,' Senator Loosley said, when asked about Australia's rights concerns. 'But overall if a gap exists then it is fairly readily narrowed,' he said. The senator noted Vietnam had signed international agreements on a full gamut of rights issues. 'No relationship with any country is perfect,' he said. 'In that sense, I believe many Vietnamese people are keen to see the relationship strengthened, just as I think many people in Australia are keen to see it strengthened.' Senator Loosley, head of the Australian Parliament's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, is accompanied by shadow Liberal Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, Democratic Senator Vicki Bourne, an academic and two prominent Australian Vietnamese. The delegation spent five hours on Saturday examining facilities and interviewing criminals at a prison south of Hanoi. One member said the delegation had been free to use its own interpreters. Mr Downer stressed the delegation's non-partisan report, to be tabled in May, would be 'frank and open' and the country would not be used for political point-scoring. Australia is a major trading partner and foreign investor in Vietnam.