February 9, 1997 in Nation/World

Peru’s President Attends London Forum

Compiled From Wire Services

With no formal talks in sight on Peru’s hostage crisis, President Alberto Fujimori left Saturday for an economic forum in London.

Any major advances toward starting talks with the leftist rebels holding 72 captives appeared unlikely with the president out of the country for the forum on British investment in Latin America. Fujimori was scheduled to return to Peru on Thursday.

Both sides have expressed a willingness to hold talks to end the eight-week crisis, and Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto said Friday that negotiations could begin next week.

Three hours of informal talks between mediators and the rebels on Thursday were seen as a positive move toward launching official negotiations.

But there still was no word Saturday on when formal talks would start.

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