Moscow and Beijing highlight the pressing necessity for early conclusion by Russia and the US of a legally binding agreement on further radical, verifiable and irreversible cuts in strategic offensive arms. This is said in a press release received by RIA Novosti on Monday on the results of Russian-Chinese consultations on strategic stability. The Russian delegation to the consultations, which took place in Moscow on Monday, was led by Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov and the Chinese by China's Deputy Foreign Minister Wang Guanya. In the course of the consultations, the document says, the sides stressed the "need for continuing Russian-American discussions and for early elaboration of a new framework for strategic relations based on the account of mutual interests and the interests of all the other countries". The sides also emphasised the "vital importance of preserving in existing conditions the international system of arms control and disarmament to maintain peace and international security, which is the common responsibility of the world community". Special attention was paid to assessing the situation emerging in the wake of the US's announcing a decision unilaterally to pull out of the ABM Treaty. The sides also spoke in favour of further coordination of efforts to prevent destabilisation of the international situation and to continue a consistent line towards creating a dependable system of strategic stability based on internationally legal mechanisms.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.