Covid crisis dominates G20 ‘virtual’ summit


DUBAI: Dubai: The Group of 20 summit began on Saturday with appeals by the world’s most powerful leaders to collectively chart a way forward as the coronavirus pandemic overshadows this year’s gathering, transforming it from in-person meetings to a virtual gathering of speeches and declarations.
The G20’s member-countries represent around 85% of the world’s economic output and three-quarters of international trade. “We have a duty to rise to the challenge together during this summit and give a strong message of hope and reassurance,” host Saudi King Salman said.
A final joint statement is expected to be released by leaders from the US, China and other G20 nations after the virtual meeting ends on Saturday. In a draft, the leaders noted the coronavirus crisis had hit the most vulnerable in society hardest, and said some countries may need debt relief beyond a temporary moratorium on official debt payments now slated to end in June 2021.
“We are determined to continue to use all available policy tools as long as required to safeguard people’s lives,”it said.



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