Vatican City, Sep 18 (IANS/AKI) Pope Benedict XVI will meet a top leader of the Syrian opposition at his summer residence near Rome.
George Saba, member and spokesman of the Syrian National Council, will be one of 120 delegates to a gathering of international Christian democrats who will be received by the pope.
Saba’s attendance at the gathering follows a request delivered by the papal envoy in Lebanon, Monsignor Gabriele Caccia, during the pontiff’s three-day visit to the country last week.
During his visit to Italy, Saba will also meet other senior Vatican officials.
Benedict made an appeal for peace in Syria during an open-air mass in Beirut.
The pope urged nations especially Arab countries to halt the “grim trail of death and destruction” plaguing Syria and the Middle East.
His appeal came amid stalled international efforts to end the 18-month conflict between Syrian rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, that has killed over 20,000 people, according to the UN.