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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice’s Meeting with Christian Religious Leaders of the Middle East

This afternoon, President Obama dropped by National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s meeting at the White House with a delegation of Christian religious leaders from the Middle East led by Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bechara Rai. The leaders discussed the plight of Christians in the Middle East and the challenges they face across the region from the rise of extremism. The President reinforced the commitment of the United States to counter the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other terrorist groups to the people of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and to the broader Middle East, as well as U.S. persons, allies and interests in the region. He underscored that the United States will continue to support partners in the region, like the Lebanese Armed Forces, that are working to counter ISIL and promote regional stability. The delegations agreed on the need for all leaders in the region to reject violence and prejudice and call for moderation, tolerance of other views and religions, and an end to sectarian divisions. The President emphasized that the United States recognizes the importance of the historic role of Christian communities in the region and of protecting Christians and other religious minorities throughout the Middle East.

A photograph of President Obama meeting with the religious leaders is available HERE.