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Monday, September 10, 2012


Vatican City, 9 September 2012 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus today the Pope, speaking French and Arabic, spoke of his imminent apostolic trip to Lebanon, where he is due to sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, which took place in the Vatican in October 2010.

"I will have the happy opportunity to meet the people and the authorities of Lebanon, as well as the Christians of that dear country, and those who have come from nearby States", he said. "I am not unaware of the often dramatic situation being experienced by the peoples of that region which, for too long, has been rent by incessant conflict. I understand the anguish of many inhabitants of the Middle East, who are daily immersed in suffering of all kinds which sadly and sometimes fatally affects their individual and family lives. My thoughts go to those who, in search of safe refuge, abandon their family and professional lives to experience the precarious existence of the refugee. Although it seems difficult to find solutions to the various problems affecting the region, we must not resign ourselves to the violence and kindling of tensions. Commitment to dialogue and reconciliation must be be the priority for all sides involved, and it must be supported by the international community which is becoming increasingly aware of the importance that stable and lasting peace in the region has for the whole world. My apostolic trip to Lebanon, and by extension to the entire Middle East, comes about under the sign of peace and with reference to Christ's words: 'My peace I give to you'. May God bless Lebanon and the Middle East".

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