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News Briefs 1

Clinton Says He's Willing to Work With GOP on Budget Compromise

Newsday
WASHINGTON

President Clinton offered congressional Republicans an olive branch Thursday, saying for the first time that he can meet their demand for a balanced budget in seven years if they'll make concessions toward his spending priorities. Surprised Republicans did not immediately accept the offer.

Clinton's gesture toward a budget deal came in a brief news conference where he assailed Republican legislation and confessed error in offending congressional Democrats. He referred to those who voted for his 1993 budget, from which he had distanced himself in a Tuesday night speech to wealthy contributors by lamenting that it had "raised your taxes too much."

In a partisan, uncompromising atmosphere, Republican leaders have gone as far as threatening a fiscal Armageddon of government debt default unless Clinton signs a new budget reaching balance in seven years through $894 billion in spending cuts and $245 billion in tax cuts.

President Rejects Time Limit For U.S. Troops in Bosnia

Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON

President Clinton declined Thursday to embrace a proposal by his top advisers that he limit any U.S. troop deployment to Bosnia to a year, saying that he will not commit himself until a new peace accord is completed.

"Our commanders believe we can complete our mission in a year," he said, but "before I make that pledge to the American people, I want to know what the peace agreement is finally and ... have a very high level of confidence that I can make that commitment and keep it."

The president's remarks appeared designed to provide him with some political leeway on the issue after Congress' lukewarm reception this week to his plans to deploy U.S. ground forces.

Clinton also dismissed suggestions that Congress will follow the will of some Repubicans and block him from sending troops to serve as peacekeepers. "I believe in the end the Congress will support this operation," he said at a news conference Thursday.

Nonaligned Nations Want Reforms To Increase U.N. Representations

Los Angeles Times
CARTAGENA, Colombia

When the United Nations opens its General Assembly this weekend, celebrating its 50th anniversary, an overwhelming majority of its members will be demanding "democratic" reforms in the world body.

The 113-member Nonaligned Movement, holding a summit meeting in this Caribbean coastal city, wants changes in U.N. structure that will give them more voting power and will safeguard the "sovereign equality of states."

Part of a declaration prepared for adoption Friday at the close of the Nonaligned summit says "it is essential to substantially increase" the movement's representation on the U.N. Security Council. The 15-member Security Council currently is dominated by the United States, Russia, France, China and Britain, which are its only permanent members and the only ones with veto power. Diplomats said here Thursday that the Nonaligned Movement will support proposals to add Japan and Germany as permanent members only if permanent seats are given to an African, an Asian and a Latin American country.