"The world today needs clear and strong sign of dialogue and cooperation" and " seems to me the time has come for Christianity and Islam to give a united, sincere and decided testimony against divisions, violence and wars. " On his return from Lebanon, the subject of his reflections to eight thousand people present at the general audience at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI repeated his call for dialogue and coexistence launched several times over the weekend from the Land of the Cedars.
It "was a moving ecclesial event and, at the same time, a provident opportunity for dialogue lived in a complex but emblematic country for the entire region, because of its tradition of coexistence and fruitful cooperation between the different religious and social components. In the face of the suffering and tragedies that continue in that area of the Middle East, I expressed my heartfelt closeness to the legitimate aspirations of those dear people, bringing them a message of encouragement and peace. I am thinking in particular of the terrible conflict that torments Syria, causing, in addition to thousands of deaths, a stream of refugees that pours into the region desperately seeking security and a future; neither have I forgotten the plight of Iraq ."