Pope Francis and Jordan’s King Abdullah II this week reaffirmed that dialogue is the “only option” to end the conflict in Syria, just as the United States and its European allies consider launching a military strike against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
The two leaders met for the first time on Thursday (Aug. 29) at the Vatican. The pontiff and the king, accompanied by his wife Queen Rania, talked in private for 20 minutes.
During their meeting, according to the statement, Francis and Abdullah reaffirmed that dialogue between among all Syrians, with international support: “is the only option to put an end to the conflict and to the violence that every day causes the loss of so many human lives, especially amongst the helpless civilian population.”
The Catholic Church has been following with concern the radicalization of Syria’s civil war. The country hosts a sizable Christian minority, which has mostly sided with Assad during the two-year long conflict.