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Pope to discuss Syria crisis with King of Jordan

By on Tuesday, 27 August 2013

King Abdullah II of Jordan will meet Pope Francis this week (PA)

King Abdullah II of Jordan will meet Pope Francis this week (PA)

As international leaders increasingly discussed the possibility of armed intervention in Syria, the Vatican announced Pope Francis would interrupt the last week of his summer break to meet Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

Jordan and Syria share a border, and Jordan is currently home to about 500,000 Syrian refugees. Both the Pope and the King have repeatedly called for the international community to help broker a negotiated end to the fighting in Syria.

“It is not clashes, but an ability to meet and to dialogue that offers prospects for a hope of resolving the problems,” the Pope said on Sunday after reciting the Angelus with visitors in St Peter’s Square.

After several days of delay, supposedly for their protection, the Syrian government gave UN weapons inspectors permission to visit the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack, but the inspectors had to turn back to their hotel on Monday after their vehicles were fired upon. The Syrian government blamed the rebels, and the rebels blamed government forces.

On Monday US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “We know that the Syrian regime maintains custody of these chemical weapons. We know that the Syrian regime has the capacity to do this with rockets. We know that the regime has been determined to clear the opposition from those very places where the attacks took place.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has recalled Parliament on Thursday to discuss possible responses to the ongoing crisis, while Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird described the alleged chemical weapons attack as a “dark new chapter” in the Syrian crisis. He added that the Canadian government “believes the only way to halt the bloodshed in Syria is through a political solution.”

Alexander Lukashevich, the foreign minister of Russia, an ally of Syria, said in a statement that military action without the approval of the UN Security Council would lead to “new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa”.

  • la Catholic state

    Good……the Pope needs to get involved. Secular politicians are making a complete mess.

    The Middle East needs conversion not understanding…….

  • Struans

    So you reckon a reactivation of the Krak des Chevaliers might be on the cards then? If Francis can convince Jordan to hand over Kerak castle, then it might be on the cards.

  • Precise

    Please, check your facts – who is the foreign minister of Russia :))

  • Russian Foreign Minister

    Sergei Lavrov anyone?

  • $28180339

    I’m glad someone is trying to diffuse the tension in the Middle East. This certainly is not mentioned in the secular media. Yet, the western-educated King of Jordan tends to be allied with Saudi Arabia & has his own terrorist problems. Let’s pray that this current pope & the Jordanian admirer of the prior pope can work something out for peace.

  • Alexander Lukashevich

    I am not the foreign minister!

  • JBQ21

    King Abdullah is a compassionate monarch. Unfortunately, there are forces at work in the Middle East to push his compassionate message to the sideline. Prayerfully, the Pope will get a handle on what is really going on. The Obama Administration has made it very plain that it is “no friend” of the Catholic Church.

  • $20596475

    That the Pope might be able to help with some wise words and to provide a mediation platform is undoubtedly true.

    The idea that what is missing is “conversion” is though just ridiculous, especially right now, and to suggest it would do considerable harm rather than any good.

    One of the major reasons that Muslims have issues with us in the west is that they tend to believe we all are fundamentalist Christians seeking to convert them. Confirm that to them and we will create many more supporters of al qaeda.

  • Julian Lord

    One of the major reasons [why] Muslims have issues with us in the west is, in reality, that a fundamentalist desire to forcibly convert the West to Islam has become extremely common.

    The idea that Muslims typically “believe” that westerners are “fundamentalist Christians seeking to convert them” is patently ludicrous — in reality, they typically view westerners as being godless atheists without any honour, morals, nor rectitude. Which, to be fair, for most westerners of the 21st century, is a somewhat accurate description.

    Meanwhile your implicit “let’s all be happy multi-choice multi-faith secularists” propaganda has demonstrated its utter bankruptcy in the various middle eastern wars, civil or otherwise, that have erupted in the twelve years since 9/11 in the wake of the extremely irresponsible efforts of the various US ideologues, neo-con or anti-christian democrat, to try and enforce “multicultural secularist” “democracy” throughout the region …

  • $20596475

    I have no doubt whatsoever that the fundamentalist Muslims are as driven to convert the West to Islam as fundamentalist Christians are to convert the world to their faith. Those fundamentalists do indeed see the West as you describe it and in many ways share your opinions about it. Apart from the faith you wish to see imposed you could make common cause with them.

    That isn’t the point. There is a much higher proportion of decent, peace loving people within the Muslim community than there are fundamentalists. It is those people we need to build links with and who I am describing. If you don’t think they regard the way fundamentalist Christians wish to convert them as a threat then I think you are sadly mistaken.

    There are many secularists within the Muslim world with whom we need to build stability and understanding. We all ought to take conversion off the agenda.

  • la Catholic state

    Where there is Islam and secularism……where Christ is ignored……there is strife and no peace. Conversion is the only path left.

  • $20596475

    Not for the first time I am profoundly grateful that you are not responsible for public policy in this matter.

    Your attitude would lead directly to the strife you claim to wish to avoid.

  • la Catholic state

    nothing but strife in certain areas……and it has nothing to do with me or Catholicism. Time to give Christ a chance!

  • $20596475

    I hold no ill will towards Christ but find that some of those who claim to speak in His name say some pretty silly things.

    “Giving Christ a chance” sounds like something dreamed up by an ad man, or the title of a religious musical.

    It doesn’t actually mean anything does it? What we need are real ideas and not just wishy washy slogans.

  • Julian Lord

    Sorry — ~70% of my immediate neighbours are “moderate” Muslims, and your relativist multiculturalist claptrap seeking to see good in every culture in the world except for traditional Latin Christianity appears to be deeply ignorant of what “moderate” Muslims typically believe of Westerners ; and of even the vaguest notion of the contents of the Islamic moral teachings.

  • $20596475

    You have no idea about my opinion on other cultures because I don’t discuss them here. I don’t even discuss “traditional Latin Christianity”. I discuss issues and the attitudes of individuals, some of whom claim to speak on behalf of that culture.

    That my observations on this issue are different to yours will surprise no-one. Mine come mostly from my experiences in another part of the world.

  • la Catholic state

    Granted….it was a bad turn of phrase…but I was on holiday, so forgive me.
    On the contrary….giving Christ a chance is the greatest thing we can do….since He is God Himself through whom all things were made. Mere human effort without Jesus Christ pales into nothing in comparison. It’s the Divine Inspiration that makes things great..

  • $20596475

    Accepted of course. I hope you enjoyed the holiday.

    I have no problem with anyone receiving their inspiration from whatever source they can. It is what they do with it that matters.