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In Letter Hand-Delivered to Assad, Pope Francis Expresses 'Profound Concern' for Humanitarian Crisis in Syria

With Particular Reference to Dramatic Conditions of the Civilian Population in Idlib

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Pope Francis is “profoundly concerned” for the humanitarian situation in Syria.
The Pope stressed this in a letter that was hand-delivered to Syrian President, Basher Hazef Al-Assad, today, by Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Cardinal Turkson was in Damascus with the Apostolic Nuncio to Syria, Cardinal Mario Zenari and under-secretary of the dicastery, Fr. Nicola Riccardi, and during that time, they met with the president.
“During the meeting,” revealed a statement by the Holy See Press Office Director, Matteo Bruni, “the Cardinal Prefect delivered to the Head of State a letter addressed to him by the Holy Father.”
The letter, he noted, “expressed the profound concern of His Holiness Pope Francis for the humanitarian situation in Syria, with particular reference to the dramatic conditions of the civilian population in Idlib.”
Here is a ZENIT translation of the Director’s full statement:
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This morning at Damascus, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, accompanied by Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria, and the Under-Secretary of the said Dicastery, Father Nicola Riccardi, met with President Bashar Hafez al-Assad. During the meeting, the Cardinal Prefect delivered to the Head of State a letter addressed to him by the Holy Father, which expresses the profound concern of His Holiness Pope Francis for the humanitarian situation in Syria, with particular reference to the dramatic conditions of the civilian population in Idlib.

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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': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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