Pope Francis Receives President of Lebanon

Conflict in Syria and Situation of Middle East’s Christians Were Discussed

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Pope Francis received in audience the president of the Republic of Lebanon, Michel Aoun, this morning.
According to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office, the discussions were cordial, and highlighted the good existing relations between the Holy See and Lebanon, particularly “the historic and institutional role of the Church in the life of the country.”
A number of issues of mutual interest were emphasized, including their mutual satisfaction “for the efforts on the part of all the various political parties in putting an end to the presidential vacancy.” They also highlighted their hope “for an increasingly fruitful future collaboration between the members of diverse ethnic and religious communities in favor of the common good and the development of the nation.”
“The discussion then turned to Syria, with special attention to international efforts to find a political solution to the conflict,” the statement added, noting, “appreciation was expressed at the welcome that Lebanon has extended to many Syrian refugees.”
Finally, there was a broader exchange of views on the regional context, referring also to other ongoing conflicts and the situation of Christians in the Middle East.
After meeting with the Pope, the President of Lebanon met with Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher.
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Article before the visit:

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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