Second Day of G20 Leaders' Virtual Summit

Turkish, Saudi leaders speak by phone ahead of G20 summit

Turkish, Saudi leaders speak by phone ahead of G20 summit

Pharmaceutical companies and research centres around the world are working on potential COVID-19 vaccines, with large global trials of several of the candidates involving tens of thousands of participants underway.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged G20 leaders to remain united in the fight against coronavirus on Saturday, telling a virtual summit that more needs to be done to beat the pandemic.

Trump's participation in the two-day meeting of the world's wealthiest nations comes on the heels of his attendance at Friday's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit via video link.

In his opening remarks to G-20 leaders, Saudi ruler, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, stressed the need for equitable access to the tools to combat Covid-19, including vaccines.

"Our peoples and economies are still suffering from this shock".

"Today we are facing a health crisis that threatens the lives of millions of people", Macron said.

In his speech, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the world, especially developed countries, didn't give a good test of solidarity in the coronavirus pandemic.

He said Turkey is in favour of fair share of global growth within the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules but demanded a reform process of WTO.

Alongside the main summit, world leaders met for a side event called "Pandemic Preparedness and Response".

In a statement, the White House said Trump highlighted to his fellow world leaders at the G-20 summit that the USA had "marshaled every resource at its disposal to respond to the crisis".

Saudi King Salman gives his opening remarks via video as he sits at large tables with a few other men
Saudi Arabia hosted the G20 over video conference amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Three G-20 leaders participating in the summit have been infected by the coronavirus this year: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and U.S. President Donald Trump. The code should be based on the global standard of QR code technology and the result of the COVID-19 nucleic acid test.

The European Union has called for $4.5 billion by the end of the year from the G20 to pay for COVID-19 fighting tools for poorer countries.

"We must first put the disease under control at home and, on that basis, strengthen exchanges and cooperation to help countries in need", he said.

Russia, also part of the group, said it was ready to provide its vaccine, Sputnik V, to countries that need it. Russia's President Vladimir Putin said Russia is also preparing its second and third vaccine. "China actively supports and participates in global cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines", he said.

The programme promotes an equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines including poor countries to rein in the pandemic. The G20 should respect the World Health Organization (WHO) and create a global mechanism coping with pandemics.

Organisers said climate change was among the issues topping the agenda.

"President Erdogan and King Salman agreed to keep channels of dialogue open to improve bilateral ties and overcome issues", the Turkish presidency said.

Discussions are expected to be dominated by the pandemic's implications and steps for reviving the global economy.

Last week, the bloc's finance ministers declared a "common framework" for an extended debt restructuring plan for virus-ravaged countries, but campaigners say the measure is insufficient.

International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva has warned that the global economy faces a hard road back from the Covid-19 recession, even as vaccines are now in sight.

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