Monday, November 17, 2008

Vatican: Pope urges unity in Lebanon

Rome, 17 Nov. (AKI) - Pope Benedict on Monday urged national unity in conflict-scarred Lebanon. During an audience with Lebanon's new ambassador to the Holy See, Georges Chakib El-Khoury, Benedict said he hoped the Lebanese people "may courageously continue their efforts to build a united and solidary society."

"The millennial history of the country, and the place it occupies at the centre of a complex region, give it a fundamental mission to contribute to peace and harmony among everyone", Benedict (photo) continued.

Describing Lebanon as a "treasure that has been entrusted to all the Lebanese people" the Pope urged the international community to "protect and value the country," preventing it from becoming a proxy battlefield where "regional and global conflicts are played out."

The election of a new president of the Republic, the formation of a government of national unity and the approval of a new electoral law over the past six months "will favour national cohesion," Benedict stated.


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