By Fatih Erel
DAVOS, Switzerland (AA) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday stressed the importance of multilateralism and global cooperation.
Speaking at a special session of World Economic Forum in Davos, Merkel said the spirit of multilateralism, which rebuilt Europe and formed our international institutions in the aftermath of the World War II, was now under threat.
“Have we actually learned the lessons of history? We have not really,” Merkel said.
On the issue of migration, she urged cooperation and warned of isolation.
“Ever since the Roman Empire, ever since the Chinese Wall, we know that shutting ourselves off does not help to protect your borders. You also need good cooperation with your neighbors, you need good agreements, valid agreements, that are respected.”
The chancellor also said Europe had a responsibility to address the migrant crisis and to “partner” with countries on the path to development.
Speaking about the digital economy, Merkel said: "The EU would shift towards a "common digital market."
U.S. President Donald Trump is set to attend Davos on Thursday and Friday.
- Trump's racist remarks
Recent racist remarks by Trump have drawn worldwide condemnation, exacerbating his international unpopularity.
More than 1,000 demonstrators gathered Saturday in the Swiss capital of Bern to protest Trump's attendance with banners that included, "Kill Trump With His Own Weapons!".
Several other anti-Trump demonstrations are planned in Switzerland in the next few days.
Over 3,000 participants from more than 110 countries and more than 340 public figures, including more than 70 heads of state and government and 45 heads of international organizations, are attending the forum, for which security is expected to cost nearly $10 million.
Also in Davos are 10 heads of state from Africa, nine from the Middle East and North Africa, and six from Latin America, plus 40 Western leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, along with the heads of UN agencies, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are also attending.
The Israeli-Palestinian issue will also be addressed, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah set to attend.