Monday, February 22, 2010

B16 Meets Lebanon's PM Hariri

Pope Benedict XVI (C) receives Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri (2nd L) and Hariri's family for an audience in his private apartment at the Vatican February 20, 2010. Hariri's family members are: sons Hussam (L), Rafik junior (2nd R), daughter Lulwa (R), and wife Lara Azm.(Daylife Pictures)

VATICAN CITY, 20 FEB 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

"Today in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Saad Hariri, prime minister of Lebanon. The prime minister subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

"During the discussions, which took place in an atmosphere of great cordiality, attention turned to the situation in Lebanon with the hope being expressed that the country, through the exemplary coexistence of the various religious communities of which it is composed, may continue to be a 'message' for the region of the Middle East and for the whole world.

"Having then highlighted the need to find a just and global solution to the conflicts affecting that region, reference was made to the importance of inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue for the promotion of peace and justice In this context, mention was also made of the forthcoming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East.

"Finally, recalling the importance of the presence and activities of Christians in the country, great appreciation was expressed for the contribution made by the Catholic Church for the benefit of all society, especially through her educational, healthcare and aid institutions".

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