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Airport to halt flights for pope's arrival

Sept. 13, 2012 at 9:59 AM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- Flights in and out of a Beirut airport are to be suspended during Pope Benedict XVI's arrival and departure from Lebanon, officials said Thursday.

The pope will be in Lebanon Friday through Sunday, The (Beirut) Daily Star reported.

When he arrives at the Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut around 1:15 p.m. Friday, other flights will be suspended for about two hours, airport officials said. Flights would also be suspended Sunday from 6 p.m., when the pope departs.

Other passengers have been instructed to arrive at the airport at least three hours ahead of their scheduled flights.

The visit by the pope marks the first visit to Lebanon by a Catholic pope in 15 years. Pope John Paul II visited Lebanon in 1997.

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