The G7 Summit: The games that statesmen play: Annika Savill, Diplomatic Editor, on how world leaders use Yugoslavia as a bat with which to hit each other.

'CAN YOU imagine,' said a French source yesterday, 'how furious Baker will be to find the WEU (Western European Union) holding a meeting about military intervention right under his nose in Helsinki?' He was speaking after confirmation that the European defence body would hold an emergency meeting, about possible deployment in Bosnia, on the margins of the Conference on Security and Co- operation in Europe (CSCE) summit tomorrow.

You may well ask why there is a need for a third summit to add to the alphabet soup that marks this week already, and whether the people of Bosnia will be any better off for it. If the idea of sending WEU troops to the former Yugoslavia comes to anything, it is possible they might. But the road so far has less to do with the victims of the real war than with half-a- dozen sets of conflicting self-interests being pursued in a Bavarian castle.

To make Mr Baker furious is precisely what the French want in their quest to show that the Americans are not indispensable to the defence of Europe. That is why President Mitterrand, over dinner on Monday night, started suggesting privately to his fellow world leaders that it might be an idea to have 'non UN-troops with the right to fire back' defending the road to Sarajevo airport. The British, to make the French appear confused in their thinking, leaked this to reporters, whereupon French officials denied it the next morning and throughout most of the rest of the day. Privately, French diplomats admitted Mr Mitterrand had suggested the idea without prior consultations with the Quai d'Orsay or anyone else.

The French had already forged a partnership with the Italians in jumping on Lord Carrington, the EC mediator. The Italians had leaked what they said was a French plan to widen Lord Carrington's conference to include the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the states neighbouring Yugoslavia. The French said at first that the plan was for the Five and 'interested parties' but this became 'neighbouring countries' in the Italian translation. Why? Because Italy neighbours Yugoslavia but, unlike France, is not one of the permanent five.

British officials were trying to save Lord Carrington's face and delay any talk of ground-troop deployment, since Britain itself is not planning to send any. On Monday a British official said Lord Carrington was 'not particularly excited' about the idea of his mission being overtaken. Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary, having spoken to Lord Carrington twice since, said the negotiator now 'welcomed' the involvement of 'other parties concerned' but said there was little point in doing anything, given the lack of 'will for peace'.

A consolation prize was cobbled together in that the G7 summit's declaration on Yugoslavia included, at Britain's insistence, a reference to the Carrington conference as a 'key forum' for ensuring a political solution. Even this, however, became the subject of squabbling: the British had wanted the phrase 'the forum', the French 'a forum'. In the end, confusion reigned as the printed statement had 'a' and the text read out by the chairmen 'the'. The French text skipped the article altogether by employing a suitably ambiguous phrase.

An official representing Canada, the only country which has sent any ground troops to Bosnia so far, revealed that the idea of sending troops from France, Egypt and East Ukraine to match Bosnia's religious mix was actually a French idea: 'The French would have liked to go on their own to get all the glory. But they knew that wasn't on because of France's pro-Serb image, for one thing.' He also disclosed that when he spoke to the Ukrainians three days ago it was not clear whether they were going at all.

SARAJEVO (Reuter) - Heavy fighting broke out in the city last night as Serbs used tanks for the first time in weeks, apparently firing at the Bosnia-Herzegovina presidential building. Journalists at the nearby Holiday Inn said much of the firing came from areas south of the river Miljacka which bisects the city.

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Actor, model and now record breaker: Jiff the Pomeranian
Video
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Bristol

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Teacher

£130 - £131 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Ks1 teacher required for m...

Project Manager (infrastructure, upgrades, rollouts)

£38000 - £45000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

MI Analyst and SQL Developer (SQL, SSAS, SSRS)

£28000 - £32500 Per Annum + 28 days holiday, pension, discounts and more: Clea...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?