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Iran's President Khatami to head for Switzerland on Monday

President Mohammad Khatami will head for Switzerland on Monday to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) due to be held in the Swiss city of Davos, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The visit is taking place at the invitation of Swiss President Joseph Deiss.

On January 20, the president is scheduled to hold talks with Swiss President Joseph Deiss and the chairman of Swiss Federal Assembly (Senate) on bilateral and international issues.

The president's entourage, which will include Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and other cabinet ministers, will hold negotiations with their counterparts Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, Interior Minister Couchepin and Transport and Energy Minister Moritz Leuenberger.

President Khatami is also expected to hold talks with Swiss religious leaders.

The 34th WEF will open in the ski resort city of Davos on January 21 and will continue until January 25 with 2,100 economic experts and heads of states from 94 countries.

The WEF will study the topics 'Global peace', 'Partnership for Global Security and Welfare', and 'Iraqi reconstruction'.

WEF Founder Klaus Schwab said that the Forum is expected to promote partnership of the countries for global peace, security and welfare.

President Khatami will deliver a keynote speech to the Forum about the world economy and global peace and security.

Schwab founded the WEF in 1970 to provide a venue for major business leaders and the political leaders to come to terms on global issues.

During his stay in Davos, President Khatami will also hold negotiations with foreign officials.

Spokesman for British Foreign Office said that British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has planned to hold talks with President Khatami on the sidelines of the WEF.

Straw, an advocate to constructive dialogue with Iran visited Tehran four times in the past two years. He visited Tehran last October with German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin to sign Tehran Declaration with Iran on future nuclear cooperation.

... Payvand News - 1/18/04 ... --

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