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Pope Benedict in Beirut to talk peace as violence rages in nearby Syria

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Pope Benedict in Beirut to talk peace as violence rages in nearby Syria

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Pope Benedict visits Lebanon later today with a message of peace, while 50 kilometres away violence rages in Syria.

The Pope will hold two major open air events and meet with representatives of Lebanon’s Christian and Muslim communities as well as political leaders.

Security is tight ahead of the 85-year-old Pontiffs visit but organisers expect a trouble free trip.

Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Bechara al-Rai said he comes with the best intentions:

“His visit is a call for peace in the Holy Land a call for peace in Arab countries and for them to carry out reforms that are needed on a political or social level.”

The Pope arrives at a time of growing tension between the West and the Muslim world after a US made film outraged Muslims for an insulting portrayal of the prophet Mohammed.