G20 virtual summit on coronavirus led by Saudi King Salman convenes

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Leaders from the Group of 20 major economies convened a meeting by video on Thursday about combating the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impacts, as global infections top 471,000 with more than 21,000 dead.

The meeting for the Group of 20 nations is being chaired by Saudi Arabia's King Salman. The kingdom, which is presiding over the G20 this year, said it organized the extraordinary meeting to advance global efforts to tackle the pandemic and its economic implications as people lose their incomes amid closures, curfews, and lockdowns.


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Opening remarks

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, addressing the virtual G20 leaders summit, said the world’s biggest economies must take firm measures on several fronts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“This crisis requires a global response, and the world is counting on us to cooperate and work together to face it,” King Salman told the G20 leaders. “We should all take responsibility in funding research and development projects aiming to reach a vaccine for the coronavirus.”

Screen grab of the virtual summit.
Screen grab of the virtual summit.

“We must also strengthen the global preparedness to counter infectious diseases that may spread in the future,” he said.

“It is our responsibility to extend a helping hand to developing countries and least developed countries to enable them to build their capacities and improve their infrastructure to overcome this crisis and its repercussions,” he added.

The King also said that the G20 must “send a strong signal to restore confidence in the global economy by resuming, as soon as possible, the normal flow of goods and services, especially vital medical supplies.”

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the G20 virtual summit convened with a “message of solidarity announced from Saudi Arabia to the world.”

With agencies

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