Pope Francis on Thursday received Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, to whom he reiterated his “belief in the message Lebanon embodies through the cultural and religious diversity that makes it a distinguished and unique country in the region.” The Pope also stressed the importance of solidarity among the Lebanese officials in order to exit the crises sweeping the country, and urged them to elect a new president of the republic. Mikati arrived to the Vatican earlier this morning, accompanied by Lebanon’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Farid Khazen, and his diplomatic advisor Boutros Asaker. The PM and the Pope held a 30-minute meeting behind closed doors. “I had an excellent meeting with his Holiness,” said Mikati. “I expressed to him my belief that Lebanon’s historic message is now spreading across the Arab world,” he added. “The key challenge is to preserve and consolidate this message, and enhance the values of peace and fraternity,” he underlined. Mikati said he handed the Pope a letter that explains the situation in Lebanon and the possible remedies to which the Vatican can contribute through the contacts it holds with the international community, especially regarding the presidential election. The PM also invited Francis to visit Lebanon.
Source: National News Agency – Lebanon