Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, in his opening address to the 34th World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, said that establishing true democracy is a long evolutionary process and cannot be "exported" or imposed by "economic sanctions," IRNA reported.
"Establishing democracy in the successful western democracies was also the result of long struggles. These democracies were not created by political advice or by economic sanctions," Khatami said.
"Establishing democracy is a process not a revolutionary action and democracy without democratic behavior cannot be established. Democracy is not a packed piece which can be exported," he added.
Pointing to the long process of establishing a "strengthened democracy", Khatami said that the process included also the creation of civic institutions, political parties and unions.
The Iranian leader viewed dialogue as integral part of a true democracy.
"It's during dialogue when it will become apparent that democracy, before being a western political theory, is the result of human experience following a process of extensive human pains and wounds. Real participation requires real dialogue," Khatami said.
He also stressed that "strengthening human rights could only be realized through dialogue and not propaganda and intimidation".
Khatami meets Britain's Straw at WEF
Iran's President Mohammad Khatami met with Britain's Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on the sidelines of the Davos World Economic Forum for talks on matters of mutual interest.
The meeting came after a keynote speech by the Iranian head of state at the ceremonial opening of the forum which has brought together world political and economic leaders from over 90 countries.
Addressing a press conference, Khatami responded to a number of pressing issues, including the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iran.
"My colleagues and I have chosen one goal, to make sure that there is free and competitive elections ... and the course of events is going, hopefully through the grace of God, towards such free and competitive elections," Khatami told reporters here.
The second day of the Forum began with panel discussions on the global financial market, as well as a round of talks on an "Arab Renaissance."
Iran President urges WEF to find practical ways to improve global economy
Iranian President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami, meeting in Davos on Thursday with the founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Klaus Schwab, called on the 34th WEF to help find practical ways to improve the world economy.
"The World Economic Forum has paved the ground for politicians and intellectuals to exchange opinions. The WEF has now a great impact on the world economy and international relations," Khatami said.
He hoped that the WEF would be able to improve and reform the current global economic situation.
Meanwhile Schwab stressed the need to promote the dialogue of cultures, saying that today's global problems could be resolved by the efforts of governments and the private sector.
The Geneva-born economic professor voiced the WEF's readiness to assist in Iran's economic programmes.
Some 30 presidents and heads of states, 75 ministers, 28 religious leaders and over 2,000 economic experts are participating in this prestigious economic meeting which is to run until Sunday.
The conference focuses on a wide range of topics such the impact of terrorism on the world economy, globalization, cultural and religious dialogue.
The forum's main aim is to exchange ideas on the world's political and economic future.
Some 1000 international corporations are WEF members and are paying their annual dues.
... Payvand News - 1/22/04 ... --