Saudi King opens G20 summit, pandemic dominates meet

WION Web Team
Saudi Arabia Published: Nov 21, 2020, 07.14 PM(IST)

Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at G20 summit Photograph:( AFP )

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Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro speaking virtually at the summit, said: "Cooperation within G-20 is key for us to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and resume the pathway towards economic and social recovery."

King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud opened the G20 Riyadh Summit on Saturday asserting that an "affordable" and "accessible" vaccine should be created for everyone.

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"We also must support the global economy and we must provide support to the developing countries, we need to continue to lay the foundation for robust, sustainable and inclusive growth," the Saudi King said.

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"In the past, we have seen this group working together to fight global economic crisis, today we are working to tackle another deeper global crisis and I hope we can handle it," he said referring to the coronavirus pandemic.

Saudi Arabia is the first Arab nation to host the G20 summit which is taking place amid the global pandemic. The G20 nations have already contributed over $21 billion to combat the pandemic.

The two-day meeting will involve brief online sessions in the form of "digital diplomacy".

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro speaking virtually at the summit, said: "Cooperation within G-20 is key for us to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and resume the pathway towards economic and social recovery."

"From the very beginning, we have emphasised that we should take care of people's health and of the economy at the same time," the Brazil president said.

"Time has proven us right. We must uphold our firm commitment to work towards economic growth, the freedom of our people and the prosperity of the world at large," Bolsonaro added. 

Saudi Arabia's King Salman will preside over the summit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Putin expected to make speeches. 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be in Saudi Arabia on the second day of the summit, however, President Trump's online presence at the even is still being debated even as several world leaders have already congratulated president-elect Joe Biden.

The summit is also expected to discuss climate change and human rights.

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