The Week Ahead: Clinton tunes up abroad

AMONG those saying goodbye to 1993 with some relief, but peering in to 1994 with apprehension must be the US President, Bill Clinton. As ghosts of his Arkansas past refuse to lie down and let him govern in peace, he will no doubt be relieved to board his jet for Brussels on Saturday and put all the talk of sexual and financial scandal behind him at a sobering Nato summit. If he wants to divert attention from domestic troubles by means of foreign adventure, however, he has not chosen an itinerary without potential hazards. The West European natives should be friendly enough; and the world's best- known saxophonist ought to go down well in the traditional Bohemian capital of Prague, where he is to meet - and play for - the Czech President, Vaclav Havel, along with the Hungarian, Polish and Slovakian leaders. But the journey onward, to a Moscow still in Zhirinovsky-shock, had better be carefully orchestrated, and he had better know the score.

In a show of British support for the 3 September agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation on limited Palestinian autonomy in Jericho and the Gaza Strip, Douglas Hurd leaves for the Middle East tomorrow. He will be making his first trip to Lebanon as Foreign Secretary, and will also visit Israel, the occupied territories and Jordan before going on to Malta - another first for him. With Yasser Arafat alienating huge sectors of Palestinian opinion by his high-handed approach to the question of which boys will get which jobs in the new administrations, Mr Hurd will try to stoke up a peace process challenged by loss of steam.

With presidential elections scheduled for May, Malawi's President, Hastings Kazumu Banda, said in his new year message that Malawi and Mozambique defence officials would meet on Wednesday to discuss the fate of 2,000 Young Pioneers who fled to Mozambique last month after the army began disarming them. Members of the deeply unpopular force, long used to quash internal dissent, had killed two soldiers in the northern town of Mzuzu. President Banda wants the thugs to come home, but has said parliament will repeal the 1964 act that allowed them to assume paramilitary functions.

Talks continue today and tomorrow between India's Foreign Secretary, J N Dixit, and his Pakistani counterpart, Shaharyar Khan, in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, over the future of Kashmir. Some 7,500 people have been killed in Kashmir since 1989, when Muslim separatists started fighting for their own state, or union with Pakistan. No one is talking up the chances of progress. 'We will explain each other's attitude and see if we can't reason and reduce the differences,' Mr Dixit said when he arrived in Islamabad. Pakistan's Foreign Minister, Ahmed Asif Ali, said: 'There is no optimism, as far as I am personally concerned.'

The people of Guatemala might be forgiven for seeing the Kashmiris as having an easy time of it. The war between the Guatemalan Nation al Revolutionary Unit and the government has lasted 30 years and claimed 100,000 lives. Representatives of rulers and rebels will be holding a preliminary three-day meeting from Thursday in Mexico City to try to revive peace talks suspended last May.

The Angolan peace talks resume in Lusaka on Wednesday after a Christmas break. Sixteen years of war ended briefly after a 1991 peace pact was implemented, but the war restarted after Jonas Savimbi, the Unita leader, rejected defeat in the elections of September 1992 and returned to the bush. UN relief workers estimate 3 million Angolans - almost one-third of the population - could starve to death if a treaty is not struck. Some 450,000 people have been killed since Unita took up arms in 1975.

More than 1,000 Angolans trapped behind battle lines are believed to be dying every day.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test