Turkish, Saudi leaders speak by phone ahead of G20 summit

Clay Curtis
November 21, 2020

Saudi Arabia is the first Arab nation to host the G20 summit which is taking place amid the global pandemic. The pandemic has offered the G-20 an opportunity to prove how such bodies can facilitate global cooperation in crises - but has also underscored their shortcomings.

India will enter the G20 Troika, along with Saudi Arabia, when Italy takes over the Presidency of the G-20 on 1st December, 2020.

"We must also continue to support the global economy and reopen our economies and borders to facilitate the mobility of trade and people", King Salman said.

In September, a Saudi court overturned five death sentences handed down after a closed-door trial in Saudi Arabia that ended last year, sentencing them to 20 years in prison instead. "Coordinated efforts by the largest economies of the world will surely lead to faster recovery from this pandemic", he said in a tweet.

G20 leaders, including US President Donald Trump who is refusing to concede a bitter election, popped up in multiple windows across a flickering screen, in a high-stakes webinar held amid the raging pandemic.

The virus shows no signs of abating as major cities in the USA and Europe bring back lockdowns and curfews.

The G-20's member-countries represent around 85 per cent of the world's economic output and three-quarters of worldwide trade.

"Our fates are in each other's hands", he said.

Under the theme "Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All", the virtual event focuses on protecting lives and restoring growth.

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"From the very beginning, we have emphasised that we should take care of people's health and of the economy at the same time", the Brazil president said.

"If we harness the collective ingenuity and resources of the G20, we can chart a path out of the pandemic and build a better, greener future".

"As we meet this weekend, we must hold ourselves to account for that promise".

He also underlined the importance of collective work to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic, underscoring global efforts to develop a vaccine for the virus that has upended lives the world over.

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

A day before the summit, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that while $10 billion has been invested in efforts to develop vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, another $28 billion is needed for mass manufacturing, procurement and delivery of new COVID-19 vaccines around the world.

The gathering also comes at a time of deep political tension within the United States, with a doubt over whether or not Trump will address the attendees.

The ministers had extended a debt suspension initiative for developing countries until June next year.

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