CHINA AND FRANCE MEND RELATIONS China and France said yesterday they are repairing their year-long rift with an agreement that France's fighter plane sale to Taiwan will be its last arms sale there. A joint communique issued also calls for French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur to visit Beijing ``in the near future,'' most likely in March. In return, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said, China will end its de facto ban on giving lucrative contracts to French companies. France lost millions of dollars in sales and a subway contract with China after France agreed to sell 60 Mirage fighter planes to Taiwan in 1992. Mr. Juppe told a news conference in Paris that the Mirage contract will be honored. But he said the French government will not allow future arms sales to Taiwan, which has been ruled since 1949 by the Nationalist Chinese while the rival Communist government rules the rest of China. Clinton requests counsel

Bowing to intense political pressure, President Clinton yesterday was expected to ask for appointment of a special counsel to investigate his investment in a controversial Arkansas real estate development. The White House for weeks has opposed Republican demands for an independent investigation of the Whitewater investment, arguing that an ongoing Justice Department investigation was adequate. Citadel continues fight

The Citadel looked to the US Supreme Court to preserve the military college's 152-year-old all-male tradition after a federal appeals court allowed a woman to enroll yesterday. Shannon Faulkner was admitted after deleting application references to her gender. IMF aids Africa

The International Monetary Fund yesterday pledged up to $1.6 billion to offset the economic impact of a currency devaluation by 14 African countries. The former French colonies agreed Tuesday to halve the value of their French-backed currency. In return, Paris promised debt relief to help them cope with expected price hikes, which could lead to unrest. Guatemala talks resume

The Guatemalan government and leftist rebels, locked in a three-decades-old civil war, will return to the negotiating table in February after an eight-month hiatus. The two sides agreed Monday to continue negotiating under a framework approved in 1991. It calls for discussing human rights abuses first, which ended previous talks. Relief flights resume

Relief flights to aid-starved Sarajevo resumed yesterday after the latest suspension forced by heavy shelling that has battered the Bosnian capital since New Year's Day. The city's 380,000 residents depend almost entirely on the aid flights for food, medicine, fuel, and other necessities.

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