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Monday, March 21, 2011
AoC's Erdogan's Mini Davos Fizzles as Mideast Tumult Spurs No-Shows
The first annual Istanbul World Political Forum ended yesterday with a no-show up by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, the scheduled closing speaker, concluding a summit characterized by low attendance as many regional leaders sought to quell political discontent at home.
Billed by organizers as the “alternative Davos” in reference to the high-profile yearly meeting of world business and political leaders in the Swiss village, the Turkish version largely failed to meet expectations as rebellions across the Middle East and an earthquake in Japan kept key speakers away and attention elsewhere...
Panelists in attendance included former U.N. Secretary- General Kofi Annan, AOC'c Esposito, AOC's Arthur Schneier, former U.S Vice President Al Gore, who gave a version of his “Inconvenient Truth” slideshow on global warming, former Mexican President Vicente Fox, and current and former heads of state of Kosovo, Ukraine, Malaysia and the Netherlands.
Scheduled guest Gamal Mubarak, son of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, didn’t show up after Egypt’s government was overthrown by a popular revolution, nor did Syrias President Esad,Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, whose face was used in promotional materials, also didn’t show up. Zapatero has worked with Erdogan on a campaign to help bridge the ideological gap between the Christian and Islamic worlds, labeled the “Alliance of Civilizations.”