Expo 2015 opens today, seeks diplomacy role on food issues, may get real diplomatic chops

MILAN – The Expo 2015 world’s fair is showing surprising potential as a backdrop for some serious diplomacy.

The twice-a-decade world’s fair opens Friday for a six-month run in Milan amid early signs of diplomatic thaws. North Korea stepped out of its isolation as a last-minute participant, and Turkey may use the occasion to reach out to the Vatican after a recent spat.

The Milan Expo focusing on food already had greater ambitions than being a culinary festival, with the Italian government backing a process to create a document of concrete commitments on food security.

The fair is also expected to be a lightning rod for anti-globalization protesters, with authorities warning that the infiltration of anarchists could spark violence outside the fair grounds.