2013-05-03 16:59:37

Pope receives Lebanese president

03 May, 2013 - Pope Francis on Friday received Lebanese president Michel Sleiman, who later met Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and Vatican Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti. The Vatican said that during the cordial talks the two sides discussed the situation in Lebanon, stressing the importance of dialogue and collaboration among the various ethnic and religious communities that make up the society and is its richness, for the common good, development and stability of the nation. In this regard they expressed optimism in the formation of the new government that has important challenges to face, both national and international. The talks touched upon situation in the region, particularly the Syrian conflict, that is forcing growing number of refugees to seek shelter in Lebanon and the neighbouring countries. The Holy See and Lebanon called for greater humanitarian assistance for them with the support of the international community. The two also sides urged for a quick and fruitful resumption of talks between Israelis and Palestinians, greatly need for peace and stability in the region. They recalled the delicate situation of Christians in the Middle East and the significant contribution they can make in the light of Pope Benedict’s post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the Church in the Middle East, which is an important reference point for the Catholic communities and societies of the region.

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