Coronavirus outbreak: Saudi Arabia accepts PM Narendra Modi’s call for G20 meet via video conferencing

Saudi Arabia has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposal for a G20 summit via video conference to deal with coronavirus crisis next week. Saudi Arabia is the chair of the G20 this year and will be taking all calls regarding the summit.

The G20 secretariat in Riyadh said in a press release, “The Saudi G20 Presidency is communicating with G20 countries to convene an extraordinary virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit next week to advance a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its human and economic implications.”

“The Saudi Presidency will continue to support and coordinate international efforts to counter the impact of the pandemic, both in human andeconomic terms,” he added.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the two leaders discussed the COVID – 19 pandemic crisis.

During the telephonic talk, PM Modi highlighted the initiative led by New Delhi to organise a video conference among SAARC countries on Sunday evening.

“The two leaders agreed that a similar exercise at the level of G20 leaders, under the aegis of Saudi Arabia as the Chair of G20, would be useful at a global scale, both for discussing specific measures to address the challenges posed by the global outbreak of COVID-19,” the government said.

PM Modi has suggested the idea of G20 summit via video conferencing to other G20 leaders as well. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison over the weekend said,”I’m also aware that (Indian) Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to organise a link-up between all the G20 leaders. I think that’s a commendable initiative, Australia obviously supports that, communicate that,”

Morrison called for a further meet on G20 finance meeting to deal with the economic impact of the coronavirus.