Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, said Sunday, that "Christianity in Lebanon is not in danger" and that his country will remain a model for "co- existence".
Lebanon includes 18 Muslim and Christian sects, with a population of about 6 million, and is the only country in the Middle East where a Christian holds the presidential post.
Aoun's statements came upon his arrival in Rome on a 3-day visit, during which he will visit the Vatican and meet with Pope Francis and Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, the Lebanese presidency said on Twitter.
"I am looking forward to this visit as a glimmer of hope to confirm that Lebanon is not transient, and it will remain, despite all the difficulties. Lebanon is a model for living together," the Lebanese presidency quoted the president as saying.
"I bring to His Holiness, Pope Francis, a message of love on behalf of all the Lebanese, and renewing the official invitation that he had previously addressed to him, to visit Lebanon in order to restore hope for the launch of the recovery process, at a time when we need his prayers and words," Aoun added.
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According to the Lebanese presidency, Aoun will also meet with the Secretary of the Holy See, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and the Secretary of Relations with Countries, Monsignor Paul-Richard Gallagher".
Beirut is seeking to implement an economic recovery plan while negotiations are under way with the International Monetary Fund, with the aim of reaching an aid program.
Lebanon is trying to get out of a severe economic and financial crisis that has plagued it for more than two years.