Turkish PM not to attend Davos forum this year
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that he would honor his word and would not attend this year's World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos of Switzerland, Xinhua reported.
"Once I give my word on something, it's done. I said 'I will never come to Davos again,' so I will never go to Davos again," Erdogan told a joint press conference with visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
Eudogan refered to the wrangle with Israeli President Simon Peres over the situation in the Gaza Strip.
Erdogan stormed out of a debate with Peres at the WEF meeting held in Davos in January 2009 in a rare move to protest against Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip launched in December 2008.
Erdogan complained he was not given enough time to respond to what Peres said during the debate and vowed not to come back to Davos.
Relations between Turkey and Israel, which used to be long-term allies, have soured since the latter's 22-day massive offensive in Gaza.
Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said he will attend this year's Davos meeting instead of Erdogan and stressed the importance of Turkey's presence at Davos in terms of relations with international investors, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported on its website Monday.
The 40th annual meeting of the WEF will be held in Davos on Jan. 27-31.