DEAD SEA, Jordan (AP) — The Latest developments at the World Economic Forum in Jordan (all times local):
The EU foreign policy chief says Europe does “not see eye to eye” with the Trump administration on major issues such as trade, climate change and funding of U.N. agencies, but can “easily” work with the U.S. on Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Federica Mogherini spoke Saturday during a regional gathering of the World Economic Forum.
Mogherini warned that threatened U.S. cuts in funding U.N. agencies “would create a major security issue worldwide, including in Europe.”
The Syria refugee crisis has highlighted the link between aid and security.
Hundreds of thousands of civil war refugees have migrated to Europe after facing increasingly difficult conditions in regional host countries, where cash-strapped aid agencies have struggled to provide basic support.
Trump visits Europe next week, after stops in the Middle East, on his first international trip as U.S. president.
The Iraqi president says he hopes the city of Mosul will be freed from control of the extremist group Islamic State “in the next few days.”
Fuad Masum made the prediction at the opening session of the World Economic Forum’s regional gathering Saturday.
Mosul was overrun by IS militants in 2014. Since the fall, Iraqi forces backed by a U.S.-led coalition have slowly pushed back the militants.
Masum says that “Iraq has achieved a decisive victory over terrorism, but we hope in the next few days to achieve a complete liberation of Mosul.”
He did not say what his forecast was based on.
Masum called on investors to come to his country and help with reconstruction of Mosul. He previously described the scale of destruction there as “horrendous.”
A pair of veteran Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, who endured repeated failures, expressed rare optimism about President Donald Trump’s efforts to strike a Mideast peace deal.
Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat and former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni spoke at the World Economic Forum’s regional meeting Saturday.
Erekat told The Associated Press that he is encouraged by Trump’s apparent determination. When asked about Trump’s growing domestic difficulties, Erekat said he believes any deal on setting up a Palestinian state alongside Israel would win broad bipartisan support in the U.S.
Livni said in the session that Arab support for any deal is a “game changer” because it could sway Israeli public opinion. She says that in this context, Trump’s meetings with Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia this weekend are “very important.”
More than 1,100 politicians and business people have come together to find ways to transform stagnant economies of the troubled Middle East and North Africa.
The World Economic Forum’s regional gathering is looking at how to encourage entrepreneurship and technological innovation to create private sector jobs in a region with 30 percent youth unemployment.
Central to the theme, organizers have invited the founders of 100 start-ups from the Arab world, including some from conflict-scarred countries such as Syria, Yemen and Libya.
Two days of sessions began Saturday. Some will look at the Middle East’s civil wars and the fallout from a refugee crisis that has uprooted millions of people in the worst refugee crisis since World War II.
Co-chairs include the German defense minister and the Norwegian foreign minister.
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