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Pope To Visit Greek Island Of Lesbos


Pope Francis kisses the foot of a migrant during the foot-washing ritual at a refugee center near Rome late last month.

Pope Francis kisses the foot of a migrant during the foot-washing ritual at a refugee center near Rome late last month.

Pope Francis will make a trip to the Greek island of Lesbos on April 16, the Vatican has announced.

The pope will use the one-day trip to show support to refugees and draw attention to the front line in Europe's migrant crisis.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees from the war-torn nations of Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq have poured onto the Aegean island over the past year.

But under a new EU-Turkey deal, Greek authorities have started deporting the refugees to neighboring Turkey.

The pope has repeatedly spoken out in support of refugees and has urged Roman Catholic churches around Europe to take in migrant families.

Lesbos itself has received hundreds of thousands of migrants.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the pope wants to "show a sense of solidarity and responsibility."

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa
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