Pope Francis and Lebanese President Michel Sleiman are calling on the international community to offer aid to Lebanon and other countries hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria. More than 440,000 Syrians — greater than 10 percent of Lebanon’s population — are refugees. When the number of Syrians who are staying with relatives in Lebanon is counted, their number exceeds 1 million, placing an enormous burden on the country.
During the meeting, the two also spoke about how the entire Middle East would benefit from peace between the Israelis and Palestinians and about the “delicate situation” of Christians in the region. Sleiman is a Maronite Catholic.