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Saudi King to chair G20 virtual summit

King Salman bin Abdulazizal Saud

King Salman bin Abdulazizal Saud  

For Modi, this will be the second leadership summit after SAARC video meet

Leaders of the G20 (Group of Twenty) nations will hold a video conference on Thursday. The virtual summit will be led by King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia, which is the current president of the economic grouping.

“G20 members will be joined by leaders from invited countries, Spain, Jordan, Singapore, and Switzerland as well as international organisations the United Nations, the World Bank Group, the World Health Organisation and the World Trade Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development,” said a statement issued by the Saudi authorities.

Apart from 19 of the biggest economies of the world, G20 also includes the European Union. For 2020, Spain, Jordan, Singapore and Switzerland are the invited countries.

Detailed plan expected

For Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this will be the second virtual leadership summit after the video meet of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which he initiated on March 15 and led to the creation of the SAARC COVID-19 Emergency Fund. It is expected that the G20 virtual summit will yield a detailed plan for confronting the pandemic caused by COVID-19.

Leaders of the grouping had been in contact over the last few weeks and held preparatory consultations. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar discussed the upcoming virtual summit with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Tuesday. “Global challenges require global cooperation,” he said after the conversation.

Elaborating on the video conference of Thursday, a Saudi release said Vietnam would represent the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations, South Africa the African Union, the United Arab Emirates the Gulf Cooperation Council and Rwanda the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

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