After the Government of Pakistan broke with the Taliban, "serious difficulties" that had marred relations between Islamabad and Tehran of late ceased to exist, Iran's Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said on Saturday. During his three-day visit to Pakistan, Kamal Kharazi met with Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf and held a round of consultations with his Pakistani counterpart Abdul Sattar. At a joint press conference the two Foreign Ministers announced that their countries opened "a new era of cooperation". The Ministers also said they want the parties taking part in the conference on Afghanistan, currently held in Bonn, to reach the consensus on the make-up of Afghanistan's future Government as soon as possible. At the same time, according to diplomatic sources, the two sides still differ with regard to the best candidates to the posts of Afghanistan's President and Prime Minister. Iran supports Burhanuddin Rabbani, the current leader of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, whereas Pakistan advocates the candidature of Afghanistan's former King, Zahir Shah, as the country's future President.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.