Pope Francis Met Privately with Prime Minister-Designate Saad Hariri of Lebanon and Said That He Intends to Visit the Country

Vatican News reports that Pope Francis met with Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Thursday at a private audience in the Vatican. 
 The Director of the Holy See Press Office announced on Thursday that the Pope met privately with Saad Hariri, the PM-designate of Lebanon. Matteo Bruni said the encounter lasted around 30 minutes. 
 “The Pope wished to reiterate his closeness to the people of Lebanon, who are experiencing a moment of great difficulty and uncertainty, and recalled the responsibility of all political forces to urgently commit themselves to the benefit of the nation,” Mr. Bruni said. Bruni explained that Pope Francis intends “to visit the country as soon as conditions are favorable.” The Pope, he said, hopes that “Lebanon, with the help of the international community, will once again embody ‘the Land of the Cedars, the diversity that moves from weakness to strength in a great, reconciled people,’ with its vocation to be a land of encounter, coexistence, and pluralism.”