Wednesday, 02 December, 2020


British PM Johnson urges G20 to do more to combat COVID

The G20 logo is projected at the historical site of al Tarif on the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh The G20 logo is projected at the historical site of al Tarif on the outskirts of the Saudi capital Riyadh
Bennie Garza | 21 November, 2020, 20:12

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement that the prime minister will be present at the summit on the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, under the theme "Realising the Opportunities of 21st Century for All".

The two-day meeting will take place via video conference, with speeches expected from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

The G20 nations have already contributed over $21 billion to combat the pandemic.

Talking about the global economy, severely damaged by the coronavirus pandemic, King Salman appealed the world leaders to "reopen economies and borders to facilitate the mobility of trade and people".

He will also use Sunday's session to call on those leaders yet to make net-zero commitments to make the same pledge, just under a month before Britain co-hosts the Climate Ambition Summit on December 12.

Without an opportunity to take the traditional "family photo", at the gala they projected a group portrait of G20 leaders onto the ruins of the historical town of Diriyah, close to the capital.

They "agreed on keeping channels of dialogue open in order for bilateral relations to be enhanced and for issues to be settled", the Turkish Presidency said. Erdogan was scheduled to speak at the summit on Saturday.

But the group's leaders face mounting pressure to help stave off possible credit defaults across developing nations.

Last week, the bloc's finance ministers declared a "common framework" for an extended debt restructuring plan for countries hit hard by the virus, but campaigners say the measure is insufficient.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc's attendance at the G20 Summit conveys the message of Vietnam's positive results in controlling the COVID-19 epidemic and promoting post-pandemic economic recovery, transferring the image of an active, adaptive, open and developing Vietnam that has actively contributed to the common issues of the worldwide community. "The UK has committed to equitable global access for any vaccine, and I would like to see the G20 nations collectively step up and support that effort".

Addressing reporters at the Rose Garden on Friday, Trump said that his administration will not advocate a national lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus despite the alarming resurgence, The Hill news website reported.

"We expect, of course, new momentum from the new USA administration on this issue, thanks to the president-elect's declaration that the USA would join the Paris Agreement once again", European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

Saudi Arabia's human rights record has overshadowed the event.

The Summit marks the end of the Saudi G20 Presidency that started in December 2019.

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