Pope Francis Tells Aoun He Plans to Visit Lebanon
President Michel Aoun held a closed meeting on Thursday in the Vatican with Pope Francis after which the Pope announced that he plans to visit Lebanon pointing out that he always raises prayers for the country.
After the meeting, Aoun said: “Lebanon has a special part in the heart of the Pope. He will meet the invitation to visit the country of the Cedars.”
“The popes have always considered Lebanon as a role model, and Lebanon has always looked up to the Holy See with utmost gratitude and appreciation,” Aoun added.
The President had arrived with his wife and the accompanying delegation at San Damaso Square in the papal palace in the Vatican. They were greeted by the Dean of the Apostolic Palace and a handful of Swiss Guards.
The President's first official visit to Europe did not take place in Paris, as the tradition calls, but in the Vatican which could be due to the fact that the mandate of the current French presidency will end in May.
Media reports said that talks will focus on issues of concern for Lebanon and the Vatican, and about the Christians in Lebanon and the region in light of the developments threatening their presence at more than one level.
According to media reports, the president will inform Pope Francis of the revival of Lebanon's state institutions, a beneficial effect according to him of the end of the presidential vacancy, and the return of Lebanon on the international and Arab political scene. He will also keep him informed of the ongoing discussions to adopt a new electoral law.