Davos forum: Trump to attend, but Iranian official cancels

Posted: Updated:
(Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP). Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, WEF, gestures during a press conference, in Cologny near Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, January 14, 2020. The World Economic Forum unveiled th... (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP). Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, WEF, gestures during a press conference, in Cologny near Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, January 14, 2020. The World Economic Forum unveiled th...

GENEVA (AP) - Iran’s foreign minister has cancelled an expected appearance at next week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, organizers said Tuesday, citing the “backdrop of uncertainty” in the Middle East.

The move averts a possible crossing-of-paths with top U.S. officials, including President Donald Trump, in the Alpine town at a time when relations between Iran and the United States have hit a new low.

WEF President Borge Brende cited only the “cancellation” by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was notably blacklisted by the Trump administration even before the new tensions. Brende declined to elaborate on the reasons for it.

“We have to understand the cancellation against the backdrop of uncertainty in the region and what his happening in Iran,” he told reporters at WEF headquarters in Geneva at a look-ahead event to the 50th anniversary of the forum.

Word of Zarif’s absence came as WEF founder Klaus Schwab warned that the world faces a “state of emergency” and said the window for opportunity is closing fast - notably when it comes to acting to save the environment.

He insisted the annual meeting will be "a ‘do-shop,’ not a ‘talk-shop’.”

All told, nearly 3,000 leaders from 118 countries are expected for the Jan. 21-24 event. The president of Iraq, Barham Salih, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are among the 53 heads of state and government set to attend, along with hundreds of business leaders and civil society activists, like environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg of Sweden.

Schwab emphasized the importance of sustainable economic growth, the need for decent jobs and salaries, and plans for skills training for a billion people worldwide over the next decade.

He expressed hopes that a “Green Revolution” will go mainstream and said the World Economic Forum would encourage partner businesses to become carbon neutral. He highlighted an environmental project to plant 1 trillion trees worldwide by 2030 to help gobble up excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Schwab revived his call for “stakeholder capitalism” to help take the lead in solving global problems.

“Environmental responsibility is very much a part of the stakeholder responsibility,” he said.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."