Trump to headline Davos summit

US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a discussion during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, eastern Switzerland. The World Economic Forum 50th Annual Meeting in Davos is held from Jan. 21 to 24, 2020. (File/AFP)
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Updated 15 January 2020

Trump to headline Davos summit

GENEVA: US President Donald Trump will be the star attraction at this year’s Davos forum, which will also focus on the fallout of climate change and a more inclusive model of capitalism, organizers said Tuesday.
The annual gathering of global movers and shakers in the village of Davos in the Swiss Alps will draw a total of 53 heads of government and state for four days starting on January 21.
The 50th edition will have more than 2,800 participants, including teenage eco-warrior Greta Thunberg, who will renew her call on participants to stop subsidising fossil fuels.
“We demand that leaders play their part in putting an end to this madness,” the 17-year-old, who is also due to take part in protests outside the summit, wrote in The Guardian.
The World Economic Forum, which organizes the summit, said other participants this year will include Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump will be accompanied by his daughter Ivanka and her husband and top presidential adviser Jared Kushner.
A high-level US economic team will include Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is busy finalizing Britain’s departure from the European Union at the end of this month, will not attend.
But Prince Charles, who has been involved in trying to mend relations within the royal family over his son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s shock decision to give up on high-profile royal duties, will be there.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who had been due to attend Davos according to a preliminary guest list, is no longer expect to attend, according to the latest list.
The summit comes amid renewed global tensions following a US drone strike on January 3 that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani near Baghdad international airport.
Iran has also been shaken by demonstrations after admitting it “unintentionally” shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet a few hours after a retaliatory missile strike against US bases in Iraq.
The meeting’s theme this year is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World” and it will place an emphasis on a more inclusive model of capitalism.
“The world is in a state of emergency and the window to act is closing fast,” Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman at the World Economic Forum, told reporters.
Schwab called for participants to agree a “Davos Manifesto” for a new type of stakeholder capitalism.
After some criticism last year over the number of private jets ferrying political and business leaders to the summit, organizers were also keen to show off the meeting’s environmental credentials.
For the first time this year, solar panels and geothermal heating have been introduced in the Congress Center and there will be a temporary railway station to encourage participants to use public transport.
Ahead of the meeting, the Swiss army has begun deploying in the area around Davos under a security plan that will involve up to 5,000 soldiers.
Swiss broadcaster SRF estimated the costs of policing the summit at 45 million Swiss francs.


Ukraine to press for plane crash black boxes as Iran minister visits

Updated 20 January 2020

Ukraine to press for plane crash black boxes as Iran minister visits

  • Ukraine’s foreign minister said returning the black boxes would show that Iran wanted an unbiased investigation of the crash
  • The plane disaster has heightened international pressure on Iran

KIEV: Ukraine will press Iran to hand over the black boxes from the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane at a meeting with a visiting Iranian delegation on Monday, Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told reporters.
Ukraine would convey the message to visiting Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami, that returning the black boxes would show that Iran wanted an unbiased investigation of the crash, Prystaiko said.
“His main task is to apologize and acknowledge what happened. We hope that we can go a little further than just political discussions and discuss practical problems. Among them in particular is the return of the black boxes,” Prystaiko said.
Iran had said on Sunday it was trying to analyze the black boxes from the airliner its military shot down this month, denying an earlier report it would hand them to Ukraine. All 176 aboard the flight died.
“At first they stated that they were handing them over, then the same person stated that they were not handing them over. This created some misunderstanding in Ukraine and we were starting to be asked: are they being handed over or not?“
Many of those killed had were Iranians with dual citizenship, but Iran does not recognize dual nationality and on Monday said it would treat the victims as Iranian nationals.
Canada, which had 57 citizens on the flight, said there were still no firm plans for downloading the recorders. Ottawa and other capitals have called for the black boxes to be sent abroad.
The Jan. 8 plane disaster has heightened international pressure on Iran as it grapples with a long-running dispute with the United States over its nuclear program and its influence in the region that briefly erupted into open conflict this month.
The Iranian military has said it downed Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 in error in the aftermath of tit-for-tat strikes by the United States and Iran. But authorities delayed admitting this, prompting days of protests on Iran’s streets.
Ukraine held a ceremony at Kiev’s Boryspil airport on Sunday as the bodies of 11 citizens, including nine crew, were returned to Ukraine.