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Kenya warns Europe on response to migrant crisis

23 January 2016, 17:47

Davos — The latest developments from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where top executives and world leaders are meeting this week. All times local.


7:40 p.m.

Amina Mohamed, Kenya's foreign minister, warned Europe against turning inwards in response to the refugee and migrant crisis.

Instead, she said the arrival of people from conflict zones such as Syria should be seen as "good" for the economically stagnant region.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Friday, Mohamed said Europe should follow the lead of other regions, where refugees and migrants contribute to an opening up of societies and an acceptance of diversity.

She laid out her hope that the current experience in Europe "does not lead to protectionism" and said it "underlines the urgency for economic growth."

She said it "is only when societies become stagnant and do not grow as fast as they have been growing for a while that they begin to look inward and close others out."

The 28-country European Union is trying to come up with a strategy to deal with the crisis, which saw at least another 42 people drown Friday in the sinking of two smuggling boat in the Aegean Sea.


6:40 p.m.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto says he's ordering officials to accelerate the extradition of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to the United States.

He says he told his Attorney General's Office to get Guzman into U.S. hands "as soon as possible."

Pena Nieto spoke Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Mexican marines captured Guzman on Jan. 8, two months after his second escape from a top-security Mexican prison.

The Sinaloa Cartel chief is wanted on multiple charges in both Mexico and the U.S. Mexico had balked at extraditing him after his previous capture in 2014.


5:20 p.m.

Michael Froman, the U.S. Trade Representative, says progress on a trans-Atlantic free trade pact has "accelerated" over the past few months despite growing reticence in many parts of Europe, notably in Germany.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Friday, Froman heaped praise on his counterpart at the European Union, Cecilia Malmstrom, for travelling widely to "address misinformation and mythologies" over the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Concerns over an agreement between the world's two biggest economies are widespread, from fears of a lowering in food safety standards and the undermining of local regulation by giving international arbitration panels the power to rule over disputes. The most visible opposition to the deal was seen in Berlin last October, when some 150,000 demonstrated against the deal.

Froman said neither side has any interest in lowering standards, whether it be in regulatory protections, safety or the environment.


3:50 p.m.

U2 front man Bono took to the stage in Davos, Switzerland, not to sing one of his band's hits but to bring attention to the Red charity, which he helped start 10 years ago after meeting business leaders in this Alpine town.

Bono said that the idea for the fund, which raises money to fight diseases in poor countries, came about because "We were mad as hell that where you lived determined whether you lived."

The charity, officially called Product Red, is a brand that gets licensed to global companies, from Starbucks to Apple. A part of the profits generated by the sale of the products with the brand is donated to a fund that fights diseases such as AIDS and malaria.


3:30 p.m.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has told the Iraqi prime minister that the U.S. will intensify the fight against the Islamic State group.

Carter, at a meeting Friday with Haider al-Abadi in the Swiss resort of Davos, emphasized the need for training local police forces, according to Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, also in Davos, said IS has lost ground. "Each day, we learn more about what works and each day, we are intensifying the pressure on Daesh. We've known from the moment we formed our international coalition that success would take years," he said.

The extremists still hold key power centers in both Iraq and Syria — and put up a major fight for the city of Ramadi, which Iraqi forces are still trying to clear.

Carter met with defense officials from six mainly European nations this week, laying out a broad campaign plan for the coming year. He has said he wants to continue talking to leaders from the coalition nations to seek additional support for the anti-Islamic State campaign.


2:30 p.m.

Kevin Spacey says his character Frank Underwood, the ruthless politician he plays in the TV show "House of Cards," would find the U.S. electoral campaign "amusing."

Bringing his star power to the CEO-packed World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Spacey told participants: "I think in the first place that Donald Trump.... uh, sorry, that Frank Underwood..." before getting drowned out in laughs.

He then added: "I think Frank Underwood would look at this particular year and find it as amusing as I do."

The American actor's appearance drew some of the largest interest so far at the Davos event, with long queues of high-power business executives hoping to attend his closed-door event, which focused on the theatricality of American politics and his career.


1:20 p.m.

David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, says it's important that those migrants who don't qualify for refugee status are sent back to where they came from.

He said it's "right" that those who don't qualify for refugee status should be sent home. He said Friday that it's "absolutely vital" for the integrity of the system that the distinction between a refugee fleeing persecution and someone who is an economic immigrant is "maintained."

Miliband, a former British foreign secretary, also said that Germany has been showing "extraordinary leadership" in the migrants crisis that has engulfed Europe over the past year and that it "needs to be supported." German Chancellor Angela Merkel has faced increased criticism for her policy on refugees, which saw almost 1.1 million asylum-seekers arrive in the country last year.

Europe, Miliband said, is playing catch-up and "we all know it's much harder to play catch-up to solve a problem than it is to anticipate the problem."


12:30 p.m.

Iraq's prime minister is appealing to Turkey to pull its troops out of Iraqi territory and help better fight the radical Islamic State group.

Haider al-Abadi told The Associated Press that he's "very keen" to have good ties with Turkey but that Ankara hasn't responded to his government's question about why Turkish troops are in Iraq. "We have to have an answer," he said.

Turkey has had troops near the IS-controlled city of Mosul in northern Iraq since 2014. The arrival of additional troops last month sparked an uproar, and Ankara subsequently halted new deployments.

The Iraqi leader also spoke Friday in a World Economic Forum panel discussion in Davos, Switzerland about efforts to stabilize the Middle East.


12:00 p.m.

The European Union's top foreign policy official says the bloc faces big economic risks if its member countries start putting up walls between each other that restrict borderless travel.

Federica Mogherini warned about what would happen to trade and business if the so-called Schengen agreement, which allows free movement of people and goods across 26 countries, gets steadily disbanded due to concerns over migration and security. She said: "We are doing studies of that and it is impressive."

Mogherini, who was speaking at a panel at the World Economic Forum, said that if you add "the cost of the fragmentation of the European Union" to Europe's economic difficulties "then we really risk something much bigger than the protection of the welcoming of refugees."


10:45 a.m.

A top Russian official says his country needs to work fast to diversify the oil-dependent economy, amid new trouble for the ruble and a bleak outlook for the year.

Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev also expressed hope for greater understanding from the West.

"This is the responsibility of the government to enact reforms quickly to diversify the Russian economy and to replace the diminishing income from oil prices," Trutnev said Friday at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos. He said he hopes Russia boosts domestic production and builds "the foundation for a new economy" in the coming two or three years.

Despite current East-West tensions, former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Russia should be a part of Western institutions such as the Group of Seven and the OECD.

He said low oil prices "reshaped our reality" and predicted a risky 2016 for the Russian economy.

Russia's Central Bank chief was supposed to head the Russian delegation at the Davos gathering of business and political leaders, but pulled out at the last minute as the ruble hit historic lows.


9:45 a.m.

Christine Lagarde, the French woman who is head of the International Monetary Fund, says she wants another term.

Lagarde told France-2 television on Friday that she wanted to continue at the helm of the organization, which has coordinated bailouts for countries and monitors economic reforms globally. Britain and Germany gave key backing Thursday, and Lagarde said she had also received support from China, South Korea and Mexico.

Developing countries have increasingly opposed an informal arrangement by which a European heads the IMF. The sister organization, the World Bank, has until recently typically been led by an American.

Lagarde spoke from Davos, Switzerland on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum of business leaders and public figures, amid turmoil in global markets.

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- AP


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