Blinken, Israel's Herzog, Argentina's Milei among Davos A-listers

Blinken, Israel's Herzog, Argentina's Milei among Davos A-listers

"Rebuilding Trust" is the theme of this year's Davos forum
"Rebuilding Trust" is the theme of this year's Davos forum. Photo: Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP/File
Source: AFP

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Middle East leaders will attend a World Economic Forum in Davos next week dominated by the war in Gaza, the WEF said Tuesday.

Argentina's libertarian new president, Javier Milei, French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese Premier Li Qiang will also be among the headliners at the January 15-19 meeting of the world's political and business elites in the Swiss Alps.

The conflict in the Middle East is set to loom over the annual forum, held this year under the theme "Rebuilding Trust".

Russia's war in Ukraine will again also figure highly as the conflict nears its second anniversary.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has made speeches to the forum via video link in the past, will deliver a "special address" and meet CEOs, said WEF President Borge Brende.

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The gathering "is taking place against the most complicated geopolitical and geoeconomic backdrop in decades," Brende told an online press conference.

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

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, NATO head Jens Stoltenberg and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen will also attend.

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Since the Gaza 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.

The Ukrainian and Swiss governments will host a meeting of 70 national security advisors in Davos on Sunday, the eve of the WEF gathering.

The WEF meetings will also focus on the state of the world economy, global trade tensions, the rapid rise of artificial intelligence and the battle against climate change.

More than 800 chief executives will flock to Davos, where live-streamed discussions about how to fix the world coexist with backroom deals and glitzy cocktail parties.

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Source: AFP

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