Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Macron, Pope Discuss Situation in Lebanon

Macron, Pope Discuss Situation in Lebanon

Saturday, 27 November, 2021 - 07:30
Pope Francis shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting at the Vatican, November 26, 2021. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

French President Emmanuel Macron met on Friday with Pope Francis at the Vatican, and discussed with him among other things Lebanon’s crisis.

Macron gave the pope two biographies of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of Francis’ Jesuit order, the Vatican said.

Macron's office, which noted the audience was only scheduled for 30 minutes, said the two men discussed the need to ensure vaccine distribution to all, climate change, migration and the situation in Lebanon, among other topics.

The talks pointed to “a true convergence of views both on global challenges and on regional crises threatening to destabilize the rest of the world," the Elysee Palace said in a statement.

A Vatican statement did not disclose what the two had discussed privately but said Macron's talks with top Vatican diplomats afterwards included climate change, Lebanon, the Middle East, Africa, and the forthcoming French Presidency of the European Union.

Shortly before the papal audience, Macron had told reporters he wanted to talk to Francis, among other things, about the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the Lebanon crisis and migration.

France is also taking a leading role to help Lebanon emerge from its crippling economic crisis.

The pope, meeting the prime minister of Lebanon on Thursday, compared the country to a dying person and promised to do everything in his power to help it "rise again".

Editor Picks