The Week Ahead: Mitterrand visit to SA aims to boost economic links

PRESIDENT Francois Mitterrand of France becomes the first Western leader to visit post-apartheid South Africa when he flies in today, and he will be the first to address South African MPs in Cape Town since Harold Macmillan made his 'Wind of Change' speech in 1960.

The two-day visit is intended as much to add lustre to the closing months of Mr Mitterrand's term as to boost the slender economic links between the two countries. Only some 90 French companies operate in South Africa, compared with more than 1,000 British firms. Mr Mitterrand will visit Khayelitsha township near Cape Town to open an electrification project partly funded by France.

He will talk to President Nelson Mandela about the Franco-African summit in November, as well as about economic matters.

Mr Mitterrand will be back home on Wednesday in time to grant an audience to the PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, the Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, and Israel's Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres. The three men are to attend a ceremony at Unesco headquarters in Paris to receive the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Peace Prize they were awarded in September 1993 for signing their historic peace deal.

South Africa's Vice-President FW de Klerk, meanwhile, speeds off to Germany for four days on Thursday in pursuit of investment from German business. And a British trade delegation led by Michael Heseltine heads for South Africa on Saturday.

President Bill Clinton goes on a mission to the Baltic states on Wednesday to discuss with their leaders how the United States might bolster their economies and their security. He will meet Latvia's President Guntis Ulmanis, Estonia's President Lennart Meri and Lithuania's President Algirdas Brazauskas in the Latvian capital, Riga. The summit will probably focus on the removal of 13,000 Russian troops still lingering in the three nations. The leaders hope that Mr Clinton's visit, the first by a US president since the Baltics became independent in 1991, will nudge Russia to withdraw its forces on time.

Mr Clinton will see President Lech Walesa in Warsaw on Thursday on his way to the summit of the world's seven big industrial nations, the G7, on Friday and Saturday in Naples. They will discuss world unemployment, and the opening of Japan's market to foreign competition.

Mr Clinton heads for Bonn on Sunday and thence to Berlin where he hopes to become more Kennedy-like by making a big speech at the Brandenburg Gate.

The German parliament's upper house votes on Friday on a six-month import ban on British beef because of fears of 'mad-cow disease', and on constitutional changes heralding the privatisation of the state-owned post and telecommunications company.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Graphic Designer / Marketing Assistant

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a Junior Graphic Designer / ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Finance Assistant - Automotive

£15500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's leading Motor Re...

Recruitment Genius: General Maintenance Person - Automotive

£16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's leading Motor Re...

Recruitment Genius: Receptionist / Meeter-Greeter - Automotive

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's leading Motor Re...

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen