Here’s Pope Francis’ Message To Lebanese And The Political Parties

Hariri Says The Pope's Message Is To Accelerate Gov't Formation In Lebanon

Pope Francis met with Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Thursday morning in Vatican City.

The Pope and Hariri went over various topics during the meeting, including Lebanon’s historical relations with the Holy See and the role that The Vatican can play to help Lebanon face the crises it is going through today.

Hariri also met with Vatican City officials, including State Secretary Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and discussed bilateral interests.

“Today I was honored to visit His Holiness, the Pope, and I explained to him the problems we are suffering from in Lebanon, and I found his Holiness aware of these existing problems in Lebanon, which needs the help of all its friends, and this is what I asked of His Holiness,” Hariri said in the conclusion of his meetings.

Hariri said that The Pope was understanding and encouraging in terms of government formation in Lebanon, adding that The Pope is keen to visit the crisis-hit country, “but only after the government is formed.”

He described the Pope‘s position in this regard as “a message to all the Lebanese and all the political parties that we must accelerate the government formation.”

Answering a question on whether he had asked The Vatican for any form of intervention in Lebanon, Hariri said: “I asked The Vatican to be keen on Lebanon and to intervene where it sees the potential for it to intervene and be effective, for this is what matters to Lebanon and the Lebanese.”

Earlier this year, at the end of his historic visit to Iraq, Pope Francis announced that his next trip would be to Lebanon. Like many things, this visit is now bound by the Lebanese leaders’ ability and willingness to form a new government.