The Week Ahead: Rao meets Major in effort to entice British capital

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The Independent Online
THE Indian Prime Minister, Narasimha Rao, meets John Major today during his four- day visit to boost commercial links. Britain is the second largest foreign investor in India, after the United States. India's controversial policy of liberalisation - some call it Thatcherism - has benefited foreign firms more than Indian as the government pins its hopes for economic success on enticing capital from abroad.

The two leaders are also expected to discuss the Indo-Pakistani dispute over Kashmir, but British officials say human rights abuses by Indian security forces in the state are unlikely to sour Mr Rao's visit. An official announcement of the award of a large contract for British Hawk warplanes is expected during Mr Rao's trip.

Commercial links will also be high on the agenda at the Group of Seven jobs conference in Detroit today. The meeting marks a beginning by the world's most industrialised nations to tackle global unemployment. With the worldwide recession still in evidence and the US and Japan facing off on trade, the conference is unlikely to come up with answers. That will come as little comfort to the 120 million people estimated by the International Labour Organisation to be unemployed throughout the world.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, travels to Washington today in an attempt to coax the Palestine Liberation Organisation back to the autonomy talks, stalled since the Hebron massacre. Mr Rabin will put his package of concessions to President Bill Clinton in response to a PLO demand for security guarantees.

The protagonists in another soured honeymoon are also trying to get back together again. Russia's Foreign Minister, Andrei Kozyrev, meets his US counterpart, Warren Christopher, in Vladivostok, on Russia's Pacific coast, today to clear the air after clashes over Bosnia, Nato policy, a spy scandal and a host of other issues. Although the two men are likely to deny a rift since their post-Cold War cosiness, Russia's re-emergence with a superpower foreign policy is bound to lead to clashes with the US in future.

Fifty years on the French war-time Nazi collaborator, Paul Touvier, 78, goes on trial in Versailles on Thursday for crimes against humanity. Mr Touvier, who spent years in hiding in Roman Catholic monasteries, was intelligence chief of the militia that aided Nazi occupation troops during the Second World War.

Presidential and legislative elections, involving for the first time the former guerrillas of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, take place in El Salvador on Sunday. Since laying down arms 15 months ago the FMLN has emerged as the country's second largest political party but still trails the ruling right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena) in opinion polls.