Saudi king to hold G20 leaders video summit on coronavirus

epa04578166 A handout photo released by the Saudi Press Agency SPA 23 January 2015 shows the new King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abudlaziz al-Saud, as he addresses the nation for the first time as king, 23 January 2015, saying the country will continue to adhere to the orthodox approach under which the state was created. The former King, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, died in the early hours of 23 January, aged 90, after ruling since 2005 though he had been defacto ruler since 1995 when the then King Fahd, his half brother, suffered a stroke, he is succeeded by his half brother, 79 year old King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud. EPA/HO EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

New Delhi/Riyadh, March 25 (IANS) Taking a cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative of holding a web-summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the Saudi Arabia is to chair a G20 group’s video conference on the novel coronavirus on Thursday.

As per an official statement, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud will chair the meeting to “advance a coordinated global response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its human and economic implications”.

The G20 is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors of 19 countries and the European Union. The member countries are India, US, UK, France, Japan, Russia, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Turkey, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, South Korea and China. Together, the G20 accounts for 90 per cent of the gross world product and two thirds of the world population.

But an official statement from Riyadh, which has the presidency of the G20 this year, said the members will be joined by leaders from invited countries, Spain, Jordan, Singapore and Switzerland as well as international organizations, United Nations, World Bank Group, the World Health Organization and World Trade Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Financial Stability Board, the International Labour Organization, International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Regional organizations will be represented by Vietnam, the chair of the association of Southeast Asian Nations, South Africa, the chair of the African Union, the United Arab Emirates, the chair of the Gulf Cooperation Council and Rwanda the chair of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.A

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