WARSAW, Reuter: Kremlin leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Monday suggested calling a European summit on conventional arms and offered to cut Soviet air force strength in the east if American F16 fighters were withdrawn from the West.

Gorbachev made his proposals in a speech to the Polish Parliament, the Sejm, at the start of a six day visit to Poland which will end with a top level conference of the Soviet bloc Warsaw pact alliance.

MOSCOW, Reuter: Indian President Ramaswamy Venkataraman arrived on Wednesday for an official visit at the invitation of the Soviet government, the Soviet news agency Tass reported.

Tass said Venkataraman had begun talks with Soviet President Andrei Gromyko. It gave no details.

ATHENS, Reuter: Three masked gunmen hurling grenades and firing submachines killed nine people and injured dozens on Monday on a Greek ferry packed with tourists, and then fled the blazing ship on a speedboat. Hundreds of panic stricken passengers on a day trip round the Aegean Islands dived into the sea when the gunmen raked the 688tonne city of Pores with bullets. Police said some of the victims were dismembered by the vessel’s propellers.

COLOMBO, Reuter: President Junius Jayewardene’s government, battered by ethnic war and Marxist violence, faces a test of popularity in four Parliamentary byelections in Sri Lanka on Thursday.

Three thousand police have been deployed to protect 214,000 voters in the four rural constituencies.

MANAGUA, Reuter: Nicaragua on Monday expelled U.S. Ambassador to Managua Richard Melton and seven other U.S. diplomats, accusing them of inciting revolt against the leftwing Sandinista government. The explosions were Nicaragua’s most dramatic act in the stormy history of its diplomatic relations with the United States; Diplomats speculated the move could lead to a complete breakoff in relations.

Article extracted from this publication >> July 15, 1988