Davos updates | Iran’s foreign minister talks war, nuke deal
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Iran’s foreign minister sat before an audience of Western business executives and policymakers at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, fielding questions about why Iran has yet to condemn Russia for its invasion in Ukraine and why efforts to revive its nuclear deal have stalled.
It was a rare opportunity for many in the audience to hear directly from Hossein Amirabdollahian, who was interviewed Thursday by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
When pressed on why Iran has not condemned its ally Russia for the war in Ukraine, he said Iran has, just as it had wars “against Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Palestine.”
In Ukraine, however, he says the U.S. and NATO were involved in actions that provoked Moscow.
On stalled nuclear talks, he says some people in Iran and the U.S. are against reviving the accord for their own reasons, including members of Iran’s elected parliament.
Amirabdollahian says he thought U.S. President Joe Biden “is facing some kind of inaction. I hope that the American side will act and behave realistically.”
He added that Iran is “keeping the window of diplomacy open” and that the Trump administration’s sanctions must be lifted.
He dodged questions on whether removing Iran’s Revolutionary Guard from a list of terrorist organizations was on obstacle to a deal. He hinted that the issue isn’t essential as long as Iran is guaranteed economic benefits.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has reiterated his conviction that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not win the war in Ukraine.
In a speech Thursday at the end of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Scholz said of Putin: “He has already failed to achieve all his strategic goals.”
The chancellor said that “a capture of all of Ukraine by Russia seems further away today than it did at the beginning of the war. More than ever, Ukraine is emphasizing its European future.”
In addition, Scholz said the “brutality of the Russian war” has prompted two states to move closer to NATO: “With Sweden and Finland, two close friends and partners want to join the North Atlantic alliance. They are most welcome!”
The chancellor added that Putin underestimated the unity and strength with which the Group of Seven major industrialized nations, NATO and the European Union had responded to his aggression.
The mayor of Kyiv says he’s grateful to receive calls from the leaders of other cities around the world pledging their support for rebuilding the Ukrainian capital.
Speaking Thursday at the World Economic Forum’s meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Vitali Klitschko says the support is important but “first of all, right now, we have to stop the war. And after that, we have to rebuild all infrastructure which destroyed (by) aggressors.”
He says 300 hundred buildings in Kyiv have been destroyed, including 220 apartment towers.
Klitschko says the “main priority right now until the winter season is to rebuild, to make a reconstruction for these buildings and give these services to these people who is right now homeless.”
For that, he says around 80 million euros ($85.6 million) is needed.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz says Germany must pursue its climate goals even more resolutely because of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
In a speech Thursday on the last day of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Scholz said Germany’s plan to become carbon-neutral by 2045 has become “even more important” as a result of the war.
He added that while the conflict is not “the sole trigger of the turning point,” it increases the pressure to act. If the Paris climate targets were not met, he says the world would be heading for a catastrophe.
The German chancellor also mentioned how new, emerging powers in Asia, Africa and Latin America are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by globalization. He says that “for too long, we have practically equated ‘democracy’ with the ‘West’ in the classical sense.”
To broaden multilateral cooperation, Scholz says he invited South Africa, Senegal, India, Indonesia and Argentina to the summit of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations in Elmau, Bavaria, next month.
Scholz says, “they represent countries and regions whose cooperation the world needs to move forward on global challenges in the future.”
He added that a new partnership also means showing solidarity in the face of looming hunger, commodity and inflation crises.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has sharply condemned Russia’s war on Ukraine and called for global cooperation to overcome life-threatening challenges such as climate change, hunger and dependency on fossil fuels.
Speaking Thursday at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Scholz said the “invasion of Ukraine does not mark the outbreak of any conflict anywhere in Europe. Here, a nuclear-armed superpower claims to redraw borders.”
Scholz said Russian President Vladimir “Putin wants to return to a world order in which the strongest dictate what is right, in which freedom, sovereignty and self-determination are not.”
The German chancellor described Putin’s war politics as “imperialism,” which is “trying to bomb us back to a time when war was a common means of politics, when our continent and the world lacked a stable peace order.”
He says the world is no longer bipolar like during the Cold War between the U.S. and Soviet Union. Instead of using the power politics of past centuries, the chancellor said it’s important all powers work together to solve threats like hunger, climate change or dependence on fossil fuels.
Scholz said: “If some want to take us back to the past of nationalism, imperialism and war, our answer is ‘not with us.’ We stand for the future.”
Journalists, press freedom advocates and human rights activists debated how governments and the private sector can safeguard a free press.
Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said Thursday at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos that while hundreds of journalists have been imprisoned in repressive regimes, there are also “invisible prisons, invisible bullets — journalism itself, beyond journalists, is under attack” by digital platforms and social networks.
Also speaking on a press freedom panel, Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth said that “social media has become a way for autocrats and others to evade that kind of journalistic accountability” provided by traditional news organizations.
Roth said powerful governments can set up “fake sites and trolls” and pump out misinformation.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is wrapping up the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting with a speech in Davos.
His address Thursday comes after days of discussions about Russia’s war in Ukraine, a global food crisis, climate change and other hot-button issues.
The yearly gathering of elites that was suspended twice over the COVID-19 pandemic has been overshadowed by the war in Ukraine. It’s doused moods among policymakers but not stopping advocacy groups and business leaders from trying to improve fortunes and — as forum organizers hope — the state of the world.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and an array of lawmakers, local officials and business leaders captured the spotlight in-person and virtually to drum up support for their country’s fight.
Attention is turning to Scholz’s near-finale address, mostly to see if he might try to answer two of Ukraine’s key appeals: for stronger sanctions against Russia and better weapons to help their forces fight.