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THE WEEK AHEAD

PRAGUE : More Than Ceremony

January 11, 1994

Continuing a nine-day marathon of summits, President Clinton travels to what used to be the Soviet Bloc mid-week, hoping to reassure emerging central European democracies of his commitment to their independence and economic reforms and trying to reinforce ties to Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin.

The surprising strength of rightists in last month's Russian parliamentary elections has raised urgent questions of what Clinton will do to shield the former Soviet satellites from any resurgent Russian nationalism, and how far he will go for Yeltsin and the reformers allied with him.

On Sunday, he is to confer in Geneva with Syrian President Hafez Assad--a meeting that it is hoped will mark a turning point in stalled, two-year old peace talks between Jerusalem and Damascus.

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