Brazil’s Bolsonaro to skip Davos meeting

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will skip the World Economic Forum in Davos this month, his spokesman said Wednesday, citing logistical and political concerns.

“The president and his team of advisors have analyzed a series of issues: economic issues, security issues, political issues,” said spokesman Otavio Rego Barros in Brasilia.

“And all of these issues together... led him to decide that it would not be the time to attend the forum.”

Rego Barros denied that the change in plans had anything to do with rising military tensions between the United States - an important Brazilian ally - and Iran after the killing in Iraq of powerful Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, ordered by President Donald Trump.

“There is no relationship with the recent events that have taken place between Iran, Iraq and the United States,” he said.

Bolsonaro, 64, had already floated the idea of skipping the yearly conference of economic and political elites - which is set to take place in Switzerland from January 21 to 24 - for security reasons.

A Brazilian delegation will still be present, but the details are still unclear.

The Davos forum was the far-right president’s first trip abroad after he took office just over a year ago. It was during that conference that he introduced his “a different Brazil” platform.

Rego Barros confirmed that later this month Bolsonaro will instead take an official trip to India, a fellow member of the BRICS bloc of emerging economies.

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