"Coordinated Efforts Will Lead To Fast Recovery From Pandemic": PM At G20

In his opening remarks to G20 leaders, 84-year-old Saudi ruler King Salman bin Abdulaziz stressed the need for equitable access to the tools to combat COVID-19, including vaccines.

Amid a raging pandemic, the summit, which is usually an opportunity for one-on-one engagements between world leaders, is reduced to brief online sessions of what some observers call "digital diplomacy".

The Turkish leader is due to address the summit via video link at 1300 GMT.

High on the agenda of the G20 meeting are purchases and global distribution of vaccines, drugs and tests for low-income countries that can not afford such expenses themselves.

Although the White House confirmed the President's participation on both days of the Summit, information about which events he would attend was not immediately clear, The Hill news website reported.

World's top economies are virtually debating Covid-19 action plan and measures to stem the pandemic's impact on global economies, including debt relief for the poorest countries.


Speaking at the International Media Center for the G20 Leaders' Summit in Riyadh, he said that the economy of Saudi Arabia was a factor of stability in the region.

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"An global treaty would help us respond more quickly and in a more co-ordinated manner", the chair of European Union leaders, Charles Michel, will tell the G20 on Sunday. Erdogan was scheduled to speak at the summit on Saturday.

They "agreed on keeping channels of dialogue open in order for bilateral relations to be enhanced and for issues to be settled", the Turkish Presidency said.

But G20 leaders face mounting pressure to help stave off possible credit defaults across developing nations. "The UK has committed to equitable global access for any vaccine, and I would like to see the G20 nations collectively step up and support that effort".

She also expressed hope that America's "new President-elect" Joe Biden will "increase multilateral cooperation" in areas like health and climate change, noting that until now "the United States has resisted engaging" in a rebuke of Trump's isolationist policies.

Earlier on Saturday, Saudi Arabia's minister of investment, Khalid al-Falih, said this year's crisis had highlighted the importance of multilateral organizations.

Ahead of the summit, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she hoped the U.S. will adopt a more multilateralist stance under Biden.

"The G20 presidency has conferred an undeserved mark of global prestige on the [Saudi] government", said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

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