>> German Chancellor Angela Merkel who has skipped the World Economic Forum in Davos the past two years could make a last minute decision to attend this year. Setting up what could be an epic clash of world views between her and Francis Emmanuel Macron on one side, and US president Donald Trump on the other.
I'm Noah Barkin, Europe correspondent for Reuters in Brussels. We learned last week that Trump will be attending this forum, the first US president to do so since Bill Clinton in 2000. This was a surprise to many people. Trump has spent his campaign, and his first year in office, railing against the global elite, and no single event is more closely associated with the global elite than the world economic forum in Davos, which is expected to attract 60 heads of state in government as well as celebrities, CEOs, and bankers.
Trump is expected to promote his America First policies on the final day of the World Economic Forum. We've learned that Merkel could join Emmanuel Macron in the days before Trump's speech to send a joint message of EU solidarity, and also to defend the liberal democratic values that Trump has called into question.
Merkel has been struggling to form a government since the general election back in September, but she was able to clinch a preliminary coalition deal with the center-left Social Democrats last Friday. If the SPD gives a formal green light to coalition talks with her conservatives at a meeting they're holding in Bonn on Sunday, then Merkel could decide to send a signal that she is back on the world stage.
And Davos may be the perfect venue for that.