US President Donald Trump will participate in the virtual Group of 20 summit being hosted by Saudi Arabia on Saturday, a senior US official told AFP.
Trump’s participation in the two-day meeting of the world’s wealthiest nations comes after he attended Friday’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit via video link.
Neither summit was held in person because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hosted by Saudi Arabia, the Leaders’ Summit will bring leaders from 19 of the most powerful countries and the European Union together.
But travel restrictions and concerns over social distancing due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic mean that invitees will have to take part in a virtual conference.
This year’s agenda also looks different to previous years.
The global financial crash wreaked by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will be high on the agenda for this year’s summit, as leaders are expected to discuss ways of dealing with the fallout of worldwide lockdowns over the past year and the ongoing race to develop and roll out a vaccine.
The summit comes with Trump still refusing to accept his defeat to Democrat Joe Biden in the November 3 presidential election while issuing unfounded accusations of widespread fraud.
In her speech at a press briefing ahead of the summit, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed President-elect Biden's plans to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change, which Trump had withdrawn the US from.
“Effectively addressing climate change will require a decoupling of economic growth from the exploitation of limited resources,” she added.