World press summit set to open in Moscow

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About 1,700 editors and publishers of the leading periodicals and top media managers from 104 countries have gathered in Moscow for a three-day world press summit that opens Monday.

MOSCOW, June 5 (RIA Novosti) - About 1,700 editors and publishers of the leading periodicals and top media managers from 104 countries have gathered in Moscow for a three-day world press summit that opens Monday.

The summit will include the 59th World Newspaper Congress and the 13th World Editors Forum of the World Association of Newspapers.

The newspaper congress will be devoted to overcoming stereotypes about the Russian press ahead of the country's debut summit in St. Petersburg of the Group of Eight club of industrialized nations in July.

Mikhail Seslavinsky, the head of the Federal Agency for Print and Mass Media, said ahead of the press summit that it would seek to overturn the image of Russia as an "ignorant country with total censorship, wild attitudes and endless ethnic and criminal conflicts."

Moscow will be hosting the annual congress for the first time after winning the bid over Shanghai, Barcelona and Gothenburg. Mayor Yury Luzhkov said he would send a bid to the Guinness Book of Records over the unprecedented scale of the Moscow forum.

President Vladimir Putin is expected to greet the guests at the opening ceremony in the Kremlin Palace.

The program of the editors' forum will focus on, among other things, the cartoon row over the caricature of Prophet Mohammed in the European press, which sparked public debates and protests in the Muslim world.

Organizers said two representatives of the Danish Jullands-Posten newspaper, which first published the cartoons, will attend the discussion.

Special guests at the event will be First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, presidential aide and Russian sherpa to the Group of Eight Igor Shuvalov, and ex-President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev.

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