Russia, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a member of the peace process observer troika in Angola, is determined to continue furthering Angolan settlement, Russian Foreign Ministry Information and Press Department said in a statement in connection with an earlier official UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the country. Russia reaffirmed its commitment during Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov's visit to Angola earlier this month. The Security Council noted that "the Lusaka agreement and the relevant resolutions and decisions of the UN Security Council remain the basis of peaceful settlement of the Angolan conflict", the communique said. The Council underscored the impossibility of a military solution to the problem and pointed to the need to engage a dialogue on ways to complete the implementation of the Lusaka accord principles. The Council members appreciated the Angolan government's constructive steps to enter into a dialogue with all of the country's sound political forces and civic groups. The Foreign Ministry statement said the Security Council unanimously indicted the UNITA guerrilla faction led by Jonas Savimbi for continuing the conflict. In this connection, a strong message was sent on the need to effectively enforce the Security Council-imposed sanction regime against UNITA intended to prod the militants into joining the peace process. In addition, the Security Council welcomed the Angolan government's reaffirmed commitment to a more active UN involvement in the restart of the inter-Angolan dialogue, the Foreign Ministry said in a communique.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.