Sept. 15 - Pope Benedict urges Lebanon to be a model of peace and coexistence for the Middle East. Sunita Rappai reports.
A papal wave and a blessing from the popemobile for thousands lining Beirut's streets on Saturday. Both Christians and Muslims turned out to welcome Pope Benedict, on the second day of a three-day visit to Lebanon. The 85-year-old pontiff later met political, religious and cultural leaders at a gathering at the presidential palace. Benedict called for peace and harmony, saying that religious freedom was a basic human right. He added that cultural, social and religious differences should lead to a new kind of fraternity based on respect for each individual. (SOUNDBITE) (French) POPE BENEDICT, SAYING: "This is the path to peace. This is the commitment demanded of us. This is the approach which ought to guide political and economic (CLOSE SHOT) decisions at every level and on a global scale." Meanwhile, President Michel Suleiman told the assembled crowd that Lebanon wanted an end to the violence in neighbouring Syria. He said he hoped all Arab nations could attain freedom, reforms and democracy though dialogue and negotiation. Lebanon is home to more than 4 million people with Christians from a number of different churchs making up more than a third of the population.