Pope, Jordanian king agree dialogue 'only option' in Syria

VATICAN CITY Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:13am EDT

1 of 2. Pope Francis shakes hands with Jordan's King Abdullah during a private meeting at the Vatican August 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Maurizio Brambatti/Pool

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis and King Abdullah of Jordan agreed on Thursday that dialogue was the "only option" to end the conflict in Syria, the Vatican said, as the United States and its allies weighed plans for a military strike.

Abdullah flew to Rome specifically to meet the pope to discuss the Middle East crisis. The king, Queen Rania and the pope spoke privately for 20 minutes in the Vatican's apostolic palace.

The king and the pontiff "reaffirmed that the path of dialogue and negotiations among all components of Syrian society, with the backing of the international community, is the only option to end the conflict and the violence that each day cause the loss of so many human lives, most of all among the defenseless population", the Vatican said in a statement.

Last Sunday, the pope spoke of "atrocious acts" following an apparent poison gas attack that residents in a Damascus neighborhood say killed hundreds of people.

The pope and the king met a day after U.S. officials described plans for multi-national strikes on Syria that could last for days, and as Washington and its European and Middle East allies said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must face retribution for using banned weapons against his people.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella, Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
tndrf wrote:
The Pope is well aware of the outcome of this conflict that will surly take place. As it is written. the events are just unfolding and will do so until the conclusion. When the Mediterranean Sea will be the deciding Factor.

Aug 29, 2013 9:26am EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Pictures