Syria's Assad sends message to pope
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday, Dec 28, 2013, sent a private message to Pope Francis, the Vatican said, after the pontiff made numerous appeals for peace in the war-torn country.
The contents of the message were not made public. It was passed on through a Syrian government delegation that held talks at the Vatican with the pontiff's Secretary of State Pietro Parolin and foreign affairs official Dominique Mamberti.
"The delegation brought a message from President Assad for the Holy Father and explained the position of the Syrian government," a statement said.
Questioned by AFP about the content of the message, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said he would not be giving further details.