US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is to visit the capitals of Azerbaijan and Armenia during his Trans-Caucasian tour. Rumsfeld is to negotiate with President Geidar Aliyev of Azerbaijan in Baku today, also negotiating with Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister and Defense Minister. According to the Azeri Foreign Ministry, the sides will mostly discuss Azerbaijan's participation in the international anti-terrorist coalition, as well as expanded bilateral military-technical cooperation. After that, Rumsfeld will fly over to Armenia, spending just two hours in Yerevan. Talking to RIA-NOVOSTI, US Embassy officials in Yerevan noted that Rumsfeld will meet President Robert Kocharyan of Armenia and the country's Defense Minister Serge Sarkisyan, discussing prospects for bilateral military cooperation.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.