Dialogue and negotiations are "the only option for putting an end to the conflict and violence" in Syria, said Pope Francis and Jordan's King Abdullah II after a meeting in the Vatican, reports the Catholic News Service.
As Western leaders expressed strong convictions that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack against its own citizens and vowed to take action, Pope Francis met yesterday with King Abdullah and Queen Rania.
Jordan borders Syria and hosts hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled the fighting that began in March 2011 in an attempt to oust President Bashar Assad.
The king and queen's meeting with Pope Francis, who technically is still on vacation, was arranged hastily after tensions grew in the Middle East over the reported atrocities in Syria and the unrest in Egypt.
In a statement issued after the meeting, the Vatican said that the Pope and king 'reaffirmed that the path of dialogue and negotiation is the only option for putting an end to the conflict and violence that each day cause the loss of many human lives, especially among the unarmed population.'
Pope Francis, with an interpreter, spent 20 minutes speaking alone with King Abdullah and Queen Rania before meeting the seven members of the Jordanian delegation. The king and three aides then held a working meeting with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.
Pope, Jordanian king say dialogue only option for Syria (Catholic Herald)