Bolsonaro Cancels Trip to Davos World Economic Forum

President's spokesman says decision has nothing to do with Iran-US conflict


President spokesman General Otávio Rêgo Barros said on Wednesday that President Jair Bolsonaro would not attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The meeting, which will take place from January 21 to 24, is held annually at a ski resort in the Swiss Alps and is known for bringing together leading names in business as well as heads of state.

Barros denied that the cancellation of the trip is directly related to the crisis in the Middle East. "There is no connection to the facts involving Iran, Iraq, and the United States either," he said.

According to him, several factors led to Bolsonaro's decision.

"The president and the advisory team look at several aspects: economic, security, political. The sum of these aspects, when brought to the president's discretion, allowed him to assess that it would not be ideal at this time to participate in this forum," explained Bolsonaro's assistant.

President Bolsonaro himself said on Monday he might not go to Davos for "security reasons."

Jair Bolsonaro in Davos, in 2019 - Reprodução Twitter Jair Bolsonaro

Asked whether the agenda's reevaluation had anything to do with the escalating tensions in the Middle East between the US and Iran, the president said the final decision would depend on the world scenario.

"It can be, according to what will happen there. We follow daily via GSI (Institutional Security Office), via Abin (Brazilian Intelligence Agency), via Federal Police. There are representatives outside Brazil, other sources, right? What is happening in the world, "he said.

Although the trip to the business forum has been canceled, Bolsonaro plans to continue his official visit to India on January 26.

Davos was Bolsonaro's first international trip as president at last year's edition.

On January 22, 2019, he gave a brief eight-minute speech. Including the time set aside for questions, the session with the Brazilian president lasted only 15 minutes, which is unusual for a head of state who had half an hour to speak.

In his speech last year, the president defended that Brazil led by example and said that countries need to cooperate.

"These days, you need each other. Brazil needs you, and you certainly need our dear Brazil," said Bolsonaro.

Investor expectation at the time was for Bolsonaro to detail his reforms, which did not happen.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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