Pope Francis on Thursday stressed the need that Lebanese officials join efforts in order to help their country steer out of its political paralysis and elect a new head of state.
“Lebanese officials must put their efforts together in order to steer out of the crisis and elect a president,” the Pope said.
His remarks came during his meeting with Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the Vatican.
A closed-door meeting between Mikati and the Pope reportedly took place at the latter’s office and lasted for thirty minutes.
Mikati said he handed the Pope a “letter describing the situation in Lebanon and the possible solutions that the Vatican can help with through its contacts with the international community, mainly to ease the election of a new president.”
Lebanon has been without a president for a close to five months, its legislators unable to agree on a new head of state.
For his part, the Pope urged Lebanese officials to “join efforts in order to drive Lebanon out of the crises it is facing and elect a president.”
Mikati extended an invitation to the Pope to visit Lebanon.
After meeting the Pope, the PM held talks with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican secretary for Relations with States.
Mikati reiterated the “important” role the Vatican can play mainly through its contact with the international community to facilitate the election of a new president.