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Heads of state and business leaders have convened in New York for meetings of the Clinton Global Initiative, as well as UN General Assembly meetings.
‘‘If the new president of Libya asked you to open a store in Tripoli, would you consider it?’’
So asked Bill Clinton at the opening meeting of his Clinton Global Initiative summit on Sunday, the Associated Press reported.
Clinton was addressing Walmart CEO Mike Duke, one of dozens of global leaders — including Libya's recently-elected leader, President Mohammed el-Megarif — attending the meetings, who shared a panel appearance Sunday with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Queen Rania of Jordan and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.
Walmart does not operate in Tripoli, Libya, but does already operate in other high-risk areas in Africa, Duke reportedly answered.
Salon reported that the idea to open a store in Libya reflects Clinton's interest in creating jobs and "international cooperation," and noted his recent effusive praise for the controversial mega-store's sustainable energy initiatives.
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Reuters described Clinton as having "lauded" Walmart's practices during the Sunday opening meetings for its efforts toward social responsibility.
Clinton's initiative, and the annual meetings that are part of it, freuqently seek to highlight opportunities for philanthropic ventures to invest in local communities.
"In the next three days, I look forward to seeing how the world’s leading thinkers will propose creative and inclusive solutions to the obstacles facing our planet,” Clinton told attendees on Sunday.
Last week, Clinton spoke about Walmart's investment in photovoltaics — the technology behind solar panels — during an appearance on The Daily Show. Watch the interview below: