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U.S. Absent At Davos Summit

  • Because the new administration is still settling in, the United States is absent from this year's economic summit at Davos, Switzerland.
By Fred Lingel

Security is tight in Davos, Switzerland, for the annual gathering of internationalists, power brokers, bankers and military units brace for more protest against globalization.

But the United States is not represented this year, which is unusual. Former President Bill Clinton was a regular and spoke at last year's mega-confab.

Officials said the new administration is still "settling in."

At last years World Economic Forum 2000 opponents of "free trade" broke shop windows and smashed car windshields while denouncing the gathering as a "meeting of murderers."

Swiss television estimated that between 1,000 and 2,000 police from across Switzerland were on hand to head off the kind of anti-globalization protests that hit the European Union summit in Nice, international financial organization meetings in Prague, Washington and Davos previously.

Many heads of state and senior corporate executives are among the 3,200 participants at a luxury ski resort. They include Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori of Japan, Palestinian laeder Yasser Arafat, Mexican President Vicente Fox, Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Shimon Peres of Israel and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan are scheduled to attend.