Today's Russian-German dialogue focuses on discussing prospects of the Iraqi settlement and bringing it to the UN Security Council aegis, Spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko said in an interview with RIA Novosti in view of the forthcoming visit to Russia by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
The close Russian-German co-operation in the international arena "is determined by the two countries' similar perspectives of the key issues of creating a multipolar international community, reinforcing the UN role, and ensuring the priority of international law," Yakovenko believes. The joint efforts will be stepped up during Germany's presidency at the UN Security Council in 2003-2004.
Russia's relations with the European Union and NATO are also at the top of the Russian-German international agenda in view of the forthcoming Russia-EU summit in St Petersburg and a G-8 Evian summit, Yakovenko pointed out.
According to him, Russian-German relations are characterised by mutual understanding and constructive exchange of opinions on a wide range of issues. "Russia and Germany are carrying out a tight and systematic top-level dialogue, striking the keynote of bilateral co-operation at all levels," the diplomat stressed. The two countries' key ministers hold interstate consultations to assess the work done and set out future prospects, he reminded. Another round of such consultation is scheduled to take place this autumn in Yekaterinburg.
The full text of Yakovenko's interview is available at RIA Novosti's website.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.