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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis welcomes Lebanese president, Syria and Middle East security on the agenda

Pope Francis led the Lebanese president to his office, where they spoke for a few minutes, with the help of a French and Arab interpreter. ;

High on the agenda between the two leaders is the ongoing fighting in Syria that has uprooted thousands of people into Lebanon to flee the violence. Both called for renewed aid efforts to help heal their suffering. ;

They also spoke about the cooperation from the diverse ethnic and religious communities that make up Lebanon, and the situation of Christians in the Holy Land. ;

After their meeting, the president introduced his wife, as well as about a dozen local and government leaders from Lebanon. The visitors included the current and former ambassadors to the Holy See. Their visit concluded as they exchanged gifts.

“The scene shows the Angel that liberates St. Peter.” ;

The Pope gave President Sleiman a large medallion, carved with an image of the Vatican. In return, the president gave Pope Francis a 19th Century icon of the Madonna. ;

Their meeting comes three days, after Pope Francis welcomed Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman?s last visit to the Vatican was in November, when he met with Benedict XVI. ;

“Pray for me.” ;

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