US Secretary of State Colin Powell has thanked Uzbekistan for being part of the anti-terrorist coalition. Talking to journalists in Tashkent on Saturday, he said he had been delegated to Uzbekistan by President George W.Bush to thank the country "for its support of the anti-terrorist campaign and other spheres of activity." Uzbekistan is regarded as an important member of the anti-terrorist coalition and will be regarded as such in the future, said Powell. According to him, he had assured Uzbek President Islam Karimov that "our interest in the region is not limited to the Afghan crisis only." Apparently, the US intends to deepen and expand its relations with Uzbekistan, especially those dealing with security, economics and human rights. Powell reported having handed over to Karimov a letter from George W.Bush, in which the US president "expresses his gratitude for the support Uzbekistan lent us." Besides, Bush hopes to meet his Uzbek counterpart in Washington to carry on a bilateral dialogue. According to Powell, the date of the meeting will be fixed later.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.