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Pope preps for trip to tense Lebanon

Sept. 9, 2012 at 10:27 AM   |   Comments

VATICAN CITY, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI said he hoped his upcoming visit to Lebanon would help build a dialogue that would reduce tensions in the Middle East.

The pontiff told an audience at the Castel Gandolfo he was reaching out to people of all faiths in a region "too long torn apart by incessant conflicts."

"Even though the search for solutions to the various problems affecting the region seems difficult, we can not resign ourselves to the violence and exasperation of tensions," Benedict told French-speaking pilgrims at Sunday's midday Angelus. "A commitment to dialogue and reconciliation must be a priority for all parties involved, and must be supported by the international community."

Benedict is set to be in Lebanon Sept. 14-16 and is expected to be warmly greeted by members of Lebanon's minority Christian community, Vatican Radio said. It will be the pope's 24th overseas trip.

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