Lebanese stability worries Vatican

Nov. 8, 2012 at 4:00 PM

ROME, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- A Lebanese official said Thursday from Rome that the Vatican was concerned about the country's stability after a key intelligence official was slain.

Lebanese Interior Minister Marwan Charbel met with Vatican Secretary of State Archbishop Dominique Mamberti on the sidelines of an Interpol conference in Rome.

Charbel praised the Catholic Church for playing a positive role in Lebanon, a country with rich religious diversity.

"The Vatican looks at Lebanon as an issue worthy of increasing attention and not an arena for settling accounts," the minister was quoted by Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star as saying.

Pope Benedict XVI visited Lebanon in September despite concerns the Syrian civil war would spill across the border.

Lebanon, following a revolution in 2005, broke Syria's dominance over political affairs in the country. The opposition March 14 coalition accused Syria of playing a role in the Oct. 19 assassination of Lebanon's top intelligence chief, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan.

March 14, seen as friendly to Western governments, has since boycotted a government led by Lebanese Prime Minister Nijab Mikati. Mikati is aligned with the March 8 movement, which counts Hezbollah lawmakers among its members.

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