Today, during his official visit to Belarus, Hekmat Ibrahim al-Azzawi, a Vice-Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance of Iraq, was received by the republic's President Alexander Lukashenko. Mr. Lukashenko said, 'Belarus is interested not just in political but also in trade and financial cooperation with this most rich country'. According to President Lukashenko's press service, economic cooperation was the central issue during the meeting. The President assured the Iraqi Vice-Prime Minister that Belarus would remain faithful to all the agreements reached during the meeting of a joint trade commission that had taken place in Minsk.
Mr. Lukashenko also said Belarus had always opposed the sanctions against Iraq and assured the Iraqi guests he would 'consistently do everything possible to make sure the sanctions deeply hurting the whole population of Iraq be abolished'. The president also expressed his disapproval of military pressure on and any military action against Iraq.
In turn, Hekmat Ibrahim al-Azzawi said he was sure relations between the two countries would continue developing fruitfully.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.