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Lebanon crisis

Lebanese president meets with Pope Francis during his visit to Italy

The Pope has said he intends to visit Lebanon soon.

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Lebanese President Michel Aoun met with the Pope on Monday during his visit to Italy.

Aoun arrived in Italy on Sunday and said upon arrival in Rome that he would invite Francis to visit Lebanon, adding that the Pope’s spiritual and moral authority can help his country during this difficult period.

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The Pope has said he intends to visit Lebanon soon.

The two spoke on many subjects, including the investigation into the explosion of Beirut’s port in August 2020 and the economic crisis.

Aoun, a Maronite Catholic, added that his small country is passing through a severe economic and social crisis that is the result of years of mismanagement made worse by coronavirus and the destruction of the port.

The Mediterranean nation of 6 million, including an estimated 1 million refugees, has the largest percentage of Christians in the Middle East and is the only Arab country with a Christian head of state.

Christians make up a third of the population, and the Vatican fears the country’s collapse is particularly dangerous for the continued presence of its Christian community, a bulwark for the church in the Mideast.

Read more: Pope Francis says ‘greatly concerned’ over Lebanon crisis

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