The World This Week: Foreign News

HELP IS at hand for those suffering withdrawal symptoms after the recent overdose of EC summit news. The coming week offers no fewer than two Community- related summits: an EC-Canada summit in Ottawa on Thursday, and an EC-US one in Washington the next day.

These are annual events, largely concerned with trade. John Major and Jacques Delors, President of the European Commission, will doubtless concentrate on the one issue studiously avoided in Edinburgh: the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (Gatt).

Since this is largely finalised, at least as far as EC-US relations are concerned, the meetings will be more cordial than last year's ill- tempered affairs. There is still a question mark, though, over whether Mr Major will meet Bill Clinton, the president-elect. But the Prime Minister and his wife, Norma, have already arranged to visit George Bush privately at Camp David.

As fears grow of bloodshed spreading to Kosovo and Macedonia, the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) will discuss moves to contain the Balkan crisis at a two- day meeting starting in Stockholm today. France will open a discussion on action taken so far to deal with the Yugoslav civil war, while the US will seek new measures against Serbia. Although the

52-nation CSCE was seen as a linchpin for European security after the fall of Communism, it has failed to influence events in former Yugoslavia, and there is little hope that the meeting will change this.

Milan Panic, the rump Yugoslavia's Prime Minister, will preside over a final big election campaign meeting of opposition leaders in Belgrade on Thursday, before legislative and presidential elections on Sunday. The rally will be held in front of the federal parliament building, and loudspeakers will be set up all over the capital, in protest at the banning of opposition broadcasts from state television, run by Serbia's hardline President - and Mr Panic's opponent - Slobodan Milosevic.

Despite Mr Panic's popular appeal and Mr Milosevic's falling support, the latter is still the front- runner, his hardline message commanding the respect of many Serbs. A Milosevic victory might well be followed by more sanctions, isolation, and possible expulsion of Yugoslavia from the United Nations.

Boris Yeltsin, the Russian President, will briefly leave his turbulent country on Thursday for China - a three-day visit almost cancelled during Mr Yeltsin's quarrel with the Congress of People's Deputies last week. Mr Yeltsin and his Chinese counterparts are expected to sign a declaration spelling out the 'principles' of Sino-Russian relations, as well as trade agreements.

Russia will also start to mend fences with Japan on Wednesday, when the latter's Deputy Foreign Minister, Kunihiko Saito, meets his counterpart, Georgy Kunadze, in Moscow to discuss prospects for a Yeltsin visit next year. The meeting is the first contact since Mr Yeltsin cancelled a visit to Tokyo at the last minute in September, causing Japan serious embarrassment, because of Japan's insistence on Russia's returning the Kurile Islands. Without their return, Tokyo says, it cannot help Russia economically.

South Korea's jaded voters elect a new president on Friday, choosing between the front-runner Kim Young Sam (Democratic Liberal), Kim Dae Jung (of the opposition Democratic Party) and Chung Ju Yung (of the minority United People's Party). But most people have little faith in the candidates, the parties or the electoral process. A recent opinion poll showed 55 per cent of voters believed the campaign was corrupt; 37 per cent of them blamed Mr Chung and his party.

The voters themselves are, of course, far from blameless: in a recent survey, 12.9 per cent admitted accepting bribes.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sheridan Maine: Accounts Assistant

£25,000 - £30,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a fantastic opportunity...

Neil Pavier: Commercial Analyst

£50,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you a professionally qualified commercial ...

Loren Hughes: Financial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Loren Hughes: Are you looking for a new opportunity that wi...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Professional Services Firm - Oxford

£21000 - £24000 per annum + 21 days holidays: Ashdown Group: Technical Support...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor