The Week Ahead: Ideology takes a tumble in Cairo

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The Independent Online
'THE issue of ideology has been de-emphasised; the issue of co-operation emphasised,' an Egyptian diplomat said, regarding the gathering of foreign ministers in Egypt of the Non-Aligned Movement tomorrow. Over the years, the NAM has failed to make much impact on the gap between the lifestyles of the world's rich and the world's poor. One reason for this, it seemed, was an excess of co-operation between governments and elites in Third World countries, and elites from developed countries, to the detriment of the Third World poor. It remains to be seen whether a new, fairer form of co-operation is being signalled here.

Indonesia, current chairman of the movement, has tried to set out 'action-oriented programmes covering food security, population, and debt management', according to its envoy, Nanas Sutresna. The meeting is due to choose a new chairman for next year. Mr Sutresna said it was the turn of South America to provide the new chairman but that no country from the region had yet applied.

Ministers will also turn their attention to the wars in Yemen, Rwanda and Bosnia and the gathering will, for the first time, be attended by the foreign minister of a multi-racial South Africa. Alfred Nzo said in Cairo that his country 'hopes to develop its relations with Egypt and the Arab world'.

Bill Clinton's reputation for making love, not war, comes ahead of him as he prepares to fly to Europe this week to take part in ceremonies commemorating the D- Day landings. Perhaps damage done when the Tories allowed his enemies to dig for dirt in his Oxford past will be put to rest, as the leaders join together in learning about who we really have to thank for our freedoms. He probably knows already that the 'D' in D-Day does not stand for Drugs or Draft-Dodging.

A deadline set by Nigerian opposition groups for the military government to quit and restore democracy expires tomorrow. The National Democratic Coalition, which has thrown down the gauntlet to the government of General Sani Abacha, has not said what it will do if the ultimatum is ignored. But it appears to be urging Moshood Abiola, winner of last year's annulled presidential election, to form a rival government.

At a two-day meeting of European Union farm ministers starting today, Germany will reiterate its demands for stronger measures to stop the spread of 'mad cow' disease and insist on a Europe-wide ban on beef and cattle exports from Britain.

France and Germany's leaders meet at Mulhouse, eastern France, today and tomorrow for the 63rd Franco-German summit. Leaders' thoughts are likely to be elsewhere, with Chancellor Helmut Kohl facing a difficult re-election battle in October, and the French Prime Minister, Edouard Balladur, widely expected to run for the French presidency early in 1995.

Croatia hails Statehood Day tomorrow by reviving the kuna of the wartime Nazi puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia. Its introduction spells the end of the Croatian dinar - too painful a reminder of the former Yugoslavia. The kuna (marten in English) has a long pedigree dating back to the Middle Ages, when marten furs were used for trading in Croat towns. It was first used as paper money by the puppet state which slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Jews, Serbs and Gypsies.