His Holiness Pope Francis welcomed and met Eng. Khaled Hboubati, Syrian Arab Red Crescent President, in the Vatican on Saturday, January 27, 2018.
During the meeting, Mr. Hboubati stressed the importance of the Christians in Syria and the need of their existence in the country, as they are an essential part of the Syrian society. “The richness of our society comes from the diversity of sects,” he said.
Pope Francis said that he always prays for Syria and for peace to prevail there. He also saluted all Red Cross and Red Crescent members for their huge exerted efforts in the humanitarian field. “The hands which are dedicated to alleviating people’s sufferings should be the strongest,” he said.
IFRC President Francesco Rocca addressed “Nowadays, unfortunately, we see increasingly barbaric new forms of conflict: the killing of civilians and humanitarian operators. From the beginning of the terrible conflict in Syria, our friend, Syrian Arab Red Crescent, have lost 65 volunteers while they were providing help and assistance, driven by the principles of neutrality and impartiality.
During the meeting, Pope Francis met 6,000 Italian Red Cross volunteers, as well as leaders of 16 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world among them Eng. Khaled Hboubati, SARC president.