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Pope Francis Receives Prime Minister of Lebanon

During Cordial Discussions, They Highlighted Importance of Keeping a Christian Presence in the Middle East

This morning, Pope Francis met with Prime Minister of the Republic of Lebanon, Saad Rafic Harir.

According to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office, the discussions were very cordial, which enabled the examination of various aspects of the situation in Lebanon and the latest developments in the Middle East.

“Satisfaction,” the statement said, “was expressed for the strengthening of stability in the country, in the hope of increasingly fruitful collaboration between the various political powers to promote the common good of the entire nation.”

Appreciation for the welcome Lebanon has given to many refugees was reaffirmed, it noted, adding that the parties focused on the need to find “a just and comprehensive solution to the conflicts that plague the region.”

“Furthermore,” it continued, “the importance of intercultural and interreligious dialogue was highlighted, as well as the value of collaboration between Christians and Muslims to promote peace and justice, taking into consideration the historic and institutional role of the Church in the life of the country and the importance of the Christian presence in the Middle East.”

After meeting with the Pope, the prime minister met with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a 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 four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light. For 'The Other Francis':

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