2013-08-30 L’Osservatore Romano
On Thursday morning, 29 August, Pope Francis received their Majesties the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, and Queen Rania. Later, the Hashemite sovereign met with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.
Several themes of common interest were addressed during the course of the cordial encounter, most importantly the promotion of peace and stability in the Middle East, with a particular focus on the restarting of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and on Jerusalem. Special attention was reserved for the tragic situation in which Syria finds itself. In this regard, it was reaffirmed that the path of dialogue and negotiation between all components of Syrian society, with the support of the international community, is the only option to put an end to the conflict and to the violence that every day causes the loss of so many human lives, especially amongst the helpless civilian population.
Appreciation was also expressed for King Abdullah’s commitment in the field of interreligious dialogue and for the initiative of convening a conference in Amman at the beginning of September on the challenges that Christians in the Middle East will have to face, in particular during this period of socio-political transformations. Finally, recognition was expressed for the positive contribution that Christian communities bring to the local society, of which they are an integral part.