Pope, on anniversary of Beirut blast, promises Lebanon visit

Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Paul VI Hall for the weekly general audience at the Vatican, August 4, 2021. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis, speaking at his first general audience since he underwent intestinal surgery a month ago and on the first anniversary of a massive blast in Beirut, said he had a "great" desire to visit Lebanon.

The 84-year-old Francis, who looked fit and improvised parts of his address, also wished success for French President Emmanuel Macron's efforts to raise more than $350 million in aidfor Lebanon at a donors' conference and send yet another warning to its squabbling political class. [L8N2PA5JL]

Francis said many in the country, which is facing a grave economic crisis, had lost the will to live. Donors should help Lebanon "on a path of resurrection", he said.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Alison Williams)

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