BEIRUT: Pope Benedict XVI called Friday on Lebanon’s feuding parties to bolster stability and uphold dialogue as a means of resolving the current political crisis so that their country can remain a model of diversity. The pope spoke during a meeting with President Michel Sleiman at his office in the Vatican in Rome. Sleiman arrived in the Vatican to attend the official appointment of Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai as a cardinal in the Catholic Church Saturday.


The pope and Sleiman discussed the strong historic relations between Lebanon and the Vatican which culminated recently with the pontiff’s visit to Lebanon in September, the state-run National News Agency reported. The pope reiterated his thanks for the warm welcome with which all segments of the Lebanese people greeted him during his visit and expressed his special deep-felt love for Lebanon, it said. [Link]