Chirac and Blair to attend Davos summit

21st January 2005, Comments 0 comments

GENEVA, Jan 21 (AFP) - With a speech focusing on handling climate change, British Prime Minister Tony Blair will open the annual World Economic Forum of political and economic leaders next week, organisers said Friday.

GENEVA, Jan 21 (AFP) - With a speech focusing on handling climate change, British Prime Minister Tony Blair will open the annual World Economic Forum of political and economic leaders next week, organisers said Friday.

In Paris, the presidency announced that President Jacques Chirac would also join the gathering tucked away at the Swiss resort of Davos.

Their attendance beefs up the list for Davos, which already includes other heads of state or government such as German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, new Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko and representatives of Brazil, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.

However, there is no confirmation so far of the arrival of any high-ranking member of the US administration under President George W. Bush, whose second term in office began Thursday.

Davos organisers said Blair would address Wednesday's opening session in a speech focusing on Britain's presidency this year of the G8 club of the world's leading eight industrialised nations.

They said he was expected to focus particularly on climate change.

Blair's Downing Street office confirmed he would attend Davos but refused to give further details.

The prime minister has already said he also wants to use the G8 presidency to highlight the problem of poverty in Africa, and on Thursday morning he will take part in a high-level debate on the issue.

In Paris, the Elysee palace said Chirac, for his part, would outline French proposals on financing sustainable development.

The five-day gathering is to include 2,250 participants from 96 countries. Its avowed purpose is to use political and economic brainstorming sessions to make the world a better, safer place.

Among the annual forum's co-chairmen this year are US software titan Bill Gates, Indian tech pioneer N.R. Narayana Murthy and the Saudi financier Lubna Olayan.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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