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Lebanese premier visits Pontiff

Catholic World News - November 28, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met on November 28 with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, for a discussion of the Middle East and especially “the delicate situation in Syria.”

After the meeting, the Vatican released a statement saying that the talks had centered on Lebanon’s role and how that country offers a model of “freedom and respectful coexistence among the various Christian and Muslim communities who live there.”

Speaking to Vatican Radio before his visit with the Pope, Mikati said that Lebanon’s unique record of inter-religious cooperation is essential to its survival and to the future of the Middle East. “We have to keep it forever,” he said.

The Lebanese leader said that in light of Syria’s considerable influence within his country, he is doing his best to avoid any involvement in Syria’s current unrest. “I am trying really to isolate Lebanon from this issue,” he said.

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