The Vatican has announced Pope Francis will interrupt the last week of his summer break in order to meet tomorrow with Jordan's King Abdullah II, as international leaders increasingly discussed the possibility of some form of armed intervention in Syria, reports the Catholic News Service.
Jordan and Syria share a border, and Jordan is hosting some 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.
The Pontiff also denounced the 'multiplication of massacres and atrocious acts,' including the suspected chemical weapons attack that left hundreds dead.
In mid-August, images began circulating on the Internet and on television of victims of the suspected chemical weapons attack on a town on the outskirts of Damascus. The Syrian government blamed rebels for the attack, and the rebels blamed government forces.
U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, said on Monday: '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.'
After several days of delay, supposedly for their protection, the Syrian government gave UN weapons inspectors permission to visit the site, 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.
FULL STORY Pope to meet Jordan's king to discuss Mid-East strife (CNS)