Benedict XVI Notes Turkey's Aid to Lebanon
Urges More International Cooperation
VATICAN CITY, JAN. 19, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI encouraged international collaboration to reconstruct Lebanon in the aftermath of last summer's war, and promoted dialogue between all sectors of the nation's society.
The Holy Father addressed the situation in Lebanon in an address he delivered today to Muammer Dogan Akdur, the new ambassador of Turkey to the Holy See, when the latter presented his letters of credence.
"As I recalled recently in Ankara, the Holy See recognizes Turkey's specific place and its geographic and historical situation as bridge between the Asian and European continents, and crossroads between cultures and religions," the Pontiff said in his address written in French.
Moreover, he added, the Holy See "appreciates your country's commitment, within the international community, in favor of peace, in particular its action in favor of the resumption of negotiations in the Middle East, and its present involvement in Lebanon to assist in the reconstruction of the country, devastated by the war, and to allow for constructive dialogue between all parties that form part of Lebanese society."
According to the Bishop of Rome, "the Holy See always follows with great attention the discussions and efforts undertaken by nations to solve among themselves -- sometimes with the help of third countries and regional or international authorities -- the situations of conflict inherited from the past, as well as actions undertaken to bring countries closer to one another in political, cultural and economic associations or unions."
Approximately 40% of Lebanon's 4 million inhabitants are Christian.