G20 Virtual Summit: Saudi king urges effective response to coronavirus crisis

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Thursday urged G20 leaders to take “effective and coordinated” action to fight the global health crisis set off by the coronavirus pandemic. He urged global leaders to do their best to assist all developing nations.

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G20 Virtual Summit: Saudi king urges effective response to coronavirus crisis

Leaders of the G20 convened the Extraordinary Virtual Summit on Thursday evening even as wealthy countries including the United States unveiled huge economic stimulus packages.

G20 Virtual Summit: Saudi king urges effective response to coronavirus crisis
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz speaks via video link during a virtual G20 summit on coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (VIA REUTERS)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Thursday urged G20 leaders to take “effective and coordinated” action to fight the global health crisis set off by the coronavirus pandemic. He urged global leaders to do their best to assist all developing nations.

Leaders of the G20 convened the Extraordinary Virtual Summit on Thursday evening even as wealthy countries including the United States unveiled huge economic stimulus packages.

Till date, there has been no collective action plan from the G20, and the group has been criticised for its slow response.

In his opening remarks as G20 leaders began an emergency online summit in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the king detailed the destruction and damage the disease had caused on the global economy, financial markets, trade as well as global supply chains.

“We must have an effective and coordinated response to this pandemic and restore confidence in the global economy,” the Saudi King said.

“This human crisis requires a global response. The World counts on us to come together and cooperate in order to face this challenge.” As concerns mount for poorer countries without access to capital markets and adequate health facilities, the IMF and World Bank have urged G20 leaders to support its call for governments to put debt payments on hold.

India is expected to push for a coordinated and forward-looking approach at the extraordinary G20 virtual leaders’ summit. The summit is being held against the backdrop of a divide in the G7 over US efforts to label Covid-19 as the “Wuhan virus”.

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