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Davos set to tackle conflicts, recovery

Sapa-AFP Geneva

Reviving the global economy and the conflicts in Syria and Mali will top the agenda as world leaders and business chiefs meet this week in the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering of international power brokers.

Some 45 heads of state or government will mix with the 2 500 participants descending on the Alpine town for the five-day forum starting tomorrow.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron will deliver speeches expected to focus on efforts to maintain the nascent pick-up in global economic activity.

The euro zone crisis is likely to take centre stage, but unlike last year – when fears of a euro zone collapse were very real – this meeting takes place amid guarded hope that Europe is finally tackling its debt woes.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and European Central Bank president Mario Draghi will speak on the way forward for the euro zone, while International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde will address methods of generating stable growth.

Noticeable by their absence will be high-profile officials from either China or the US, though US Senator John McCain will be on hand for a panel on the future of Syria.

The civil war in Syria and security issues in the Middle East and Africa will be on the table. Jordan’s King Abdullah II making a special address.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan will share the stage with South African leader Jacob Zuma for a panel on risks in the continent.

The theme of this year’s forum – “Resilient Dynamism” – focuses on how the global economic system can withstand and quickly recover from sudden shocks, like the euro zone crisis.

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