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January 24, 2008

RICE DEFENDS US IDEALS AT WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

Photo: Tony Blair (L), former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (1997-2007); Member of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008 , Condoleezza Rice (C), US Secretary of State and Henry A. Kissinger, Chairman, Kissinger Associates, USA; Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2008, captured during the session 'Opening Plenary' at the Annual Meeting 2008 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 23, 2008. (Copyright by World Economic Forum. Photo by Annette Boutellier)


Davos, Switzerland, 23 January 2008 - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting that American foreign policy must be driven by a combination of ideals and optimism because international problems may be managed but never resolved without them.

"There is not one challenge in the world today that will get better if we approach it without confidence in the appeal and effectiveness of our ideals - political and economic freedom, open markets and free and fair trade, human dignity and human rights, equal opportunity and the rule of law," she said in the opening address to the 38th World Economic Annual Meeting.

Despite the current turbulence on international markets, the long-term fundamentals of the US economy are sound, she declared. Nevertheless, if the global economy is to continue to grow, the world needs an entirely new approach to energy and the environment. "We have to ... cut the Gordian knot of fossil fuels, carbon emissions and economic activity," she said. The US is ready to do its part on climate change and global warming.


WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

Photo: Al Gore, Vice-President of the United States of America (1993-2001); Nobel Laureate 2007 captured during the session 'A Unified Earth Theory: Combining Solutions to Extreme Poverty and the Climate Crisis' at the Annual Meeting 2008 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2008. (Copyright by World Economic Forum. Photo by Remy Steinegger)


WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

Photo: Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan gestures as he talks during the session 'The Quest for Peace and Stability' at the Annual Meeting 2008 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2008. (Copyright by World Economic Forum. Photo by Andy Mettler)


Turning to the issue of democracy, Rice suggested that the notion is sometimes controversial when applied to the Middle East, with some arguing that it has "made the situation worse." But, said Rice: "I would ask, worse compared to what?" Things are certainly no worse than when the Syrian army controlled Lebanon, when Palestinians could not elect their leaders or when Saddam Hussein exercised his "tyranny", Rice said.

"The main problem for democracy in the Middle East has not been that people are not ready for it. The problem is that there are violent forces of reaction that should not be allowed to triumph," she said. And, she added, nobody should be under any illusion that the problems will get easier "if we approach them in a less principled fashion."

When it comes to diplomacy, America has no permanent enemies because it harbours no "permanent hatreds," said Rice. Nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than in relations with Russia. "The recent talk about a new cold war is hyperbolic nonsense," Rice said.

Similarly, Washington has no desire for permanent enmity with Iran. "We have no conflict with Iran's people, but we have real differences with Iran's government - from its support for terrorism, to its destabilizing policies in Iraq, to its pursuit of technology that could lead to a nuclear weapon."


WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM

Photo: Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations, New York addresses the audience during the session 'Time Is Running Out for Water' at the Annual Meeting 2008 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 24, 2008. (Copyright by World Economic Forum. Photo by Remy Steinegger)

A few minutes before, Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, reminded participants of the ongoing war against terrorism being waged in his country and urged regional governments to move beyond words to concrete action. "Complacency must no longer be tolerated," he declared. He also underlined the need to root out terrorist sanctuaries and to target individuals and entities that harbour sources of extremism with impunity.

Speaking on the same platform, Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Geneva, called for a more serious effort to combat global warming, reminding business, government and civil society leaders that the results will benefit health and security in the entire world. |GlobalGiants.com|


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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 11:40 AM | Link to this Post


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