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WORLD | 09-01-2024 12:02

Davos forum guest-list confirmed with Milei, Blinken, Israeli president set to attend

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Israeli President Isaac Herzog, French President Emmanuel Macron, Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Middle East leaders will also attend the event in Davos next week, as well as France

President Javier Milei's attendance at the high-profile World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alps has been confirmed.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Middle East leaders will also attend the event in Davos next week, which will likely dominated by the war in Gaza, the WEF said on Tuesday.

Milei's likely attendance at the summit – previously reported by the Times – will see him rub shoulders with other headliners such as French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

The January 15-19 meeting will bring together the world's political and business elites in the Swiss Alps. The conflict in the Middle East is set to dominate the annual forum, held this year under the theme "Rebuilding Trust."

Russia's war in Ukraine will also figure highly in the talks again. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has made speeches to the WEF via video link in the past and attended Milei's December 10 inauguration in Buenos Aires, will deliver a "special address" and meet CEOs, said WEF President Borge Brende.

"It is taking place against the most complicated geopolitical and geoeconomic backdrop in decades," Brende told a virtual press conference.

Blinken and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will be among 2,800 participants, including more than 60 heads of state and government, at the forum, Brende said.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Jordan's Bisher Khasawneh will also be there.

"We know that the war in Gaza is still going on and there are worries for a further escalation," Brende said.

"In Davos, we will bring the key stakeholders there and look how to avoid a further deterioration and also what is next, because we also have to inject some silver linings," he added.

Since the war broke out following the Hamas attack in Israel of October 7, fears have grown of an escalating conflict between Israel and its other regional enemies, a loose alliance of Iran-backed armed groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

Israel has traded cross-border fire with Lebanon's Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah for three months. 

In that time it has killed senior operatives of Hezbollah and Hamas on Lebanese soil, sparking anger and threats of retaliation.



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